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Publisher: Elizabeth Peters 

Editor in Chief: Beth Pinsker 
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Managing Editor: Farrin Jacobs 
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Contributing Editors: Richard Baimbridge, 

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The Independent Film & Video Monthly (ISSN 0731-5198) is published monthly 
(except combined issues January/February and July/August) by the Foundation for 
Independent Video and Film (FIVF), a 501(c)(3) dedicated to the advancement of media 
arts and artists. Subscription to the magazine Is included in annual membership dues 
($55/yr individual; $35/yr student; $100/yr nonprofit/school; $!50/yr business/ Indus- 
try) paid to the Association of Independent Video and Filmmakers (AIVF), the national pro- 
fessional association of Individuals involved In independent film and video. Library sub- 
■ scrlptlons are $75/yr Contact: AIVF 304 Hudson St., 6 ft. New York, NY 10013, (212) 
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Publication of The Independent is made possible in part with public 
funds from the tien York State Council on the Arts, a state agency, and 
the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency 



Publication of any ad in The Independent does not constitute an endorsement. 
AIVF/FIVF are not responsible for any claims made in an ad. All contents are copyright of 
the Foundation for Independent Video and Film, Inc. Repnnts require written permission 
and acknowledgement of the article's previous appearance in The Independent 
The Independent is indexed in the Alternative Press Index and Is a member of the 
Independent Press Association. 

AIVF/FIVF staff; Elizabeth Peters, executive director; Alexander Spencer, deputy director; 
lyiichelle Coe, program director; Paul Marchant, membership director; James Israel, 
Bo Mehrad, information services associates; Greg Gilpatrick, Joshua Sanchez, web 
consultants; Leslie Adkins-Garza, Intern; AIVF/FIVF legal counsel: Robert I. Freedman. 
Esq. Cowan, DeBaets, Abrahams &Sheppard. 

AIVF/FIVF Boards of Directors: Angela Alston, Doug Block, Liz Canner Paul Esplnosa, 
Dee Dee Halleck, Vivian Kleiman, Jim McKay, Elizabeth Peters (ex officio), Alex Rivera*, 
James Schamus*, Gall Silva*, Valerie Soe, Ellen Spiro, Jim Vincent, Jane Wagner*, Bart 
Weiss, Debra Zimmerman*. *FIVF Board of Directors only 

© Foundation for Independent Video & Film, Inc. 2001 
Visit The Independent online at: www.aivf.org 




^^^^^^^ 



January/February 2002 

VOLUME 25, NUMBER I www.aivf.org 



Special Section 

Digital 
Filmmaking 
2002 




3 Digitally Essential by Greg Lindsay 

4 Pick of the Pans by Beth Pinsker 

6 A Dream DIY System: DV to DVD by Greg Gilpatrick 

9 Ask the Final Cut Pro by Bart Weiss 

10 Cool "Clothes" for Your Camera by Robert Goodman 
14 Cheap Treats by Farrin Jacobs 



Features 




A 




26 The Prize Patrol 

Voting on festival juries and 
critics awards isn't an exact 
science, but it has been a top 
secret one. . .until now. 

by Ray Pride 



30 Filmer of the Bride 

Morisoon Wedding might seem like Mira 
Nair's least controversial film, but what's 
with the wedding planner-turned-mogul? 

BY Beth Pinsker 



2 THE INDEPENDENT January/February 2002 



Upfront 

5 Editor's Note 
7 News 

Ontario bans a film — can the 
U.S. be far behind?; an Iranian 
filmmaker is jailed; Sony drops 
Beta SP; briefs. 

BY Farrin Jacobs; 
Richard Baimbridge 

12 Opinion 

A call to rethink the definition 
of independent film in the 
digital age. 
BY Jacques Thelemaque 

13 Festival Circuit 

Margaret Mead welcomes 
new documentaries and 
some unusual events; the 
Hot Springs Documentary 
Festival turns 10; Kudzu 
gets up early. 

BY SCOTT MeSERVE; 

Larry Ault; Julie 
Phillips Jordan 

21 On View 

Independent projects opening 
or airing on television. 

BY Jason Guerrasio 

22 Funder FAQ 

Meet Mixed Greens. 
BY Michelle Coe 

23 Field Report: 
St. Louis 

A local newsman tackles a 
murder. Plus: Mark Twain at 
the St. Louis Film Festival and 
producer Buzz Hirsch. 
BY Shelley Gabert 

24 Profiles 

Mai Masri's controversial 
Middle East films; Inuit director 
Zacharias Kunuk and his firsts. 

BY Holly Hudson- 
Groves; Beth Pinsker 




Departments 



49 Wired Blue Yonder 

Canon's new XL Is replaces a 
first-generation standard. 
BY Robert Goodman 

52 Books 

Voices from Twentieth Century 
Cinema. 

BY Farrin Jacobs 

53 DVD/Video 

Kill Me Later and Glass, Necktie. 
by Farrin Jacobs; 
Wesley Morris 

54 Festivals 
62 Notices 

70 Classifieds 



@AIVF 



73 Events 

75 Salons 

76 Trade Discounts 

79 In Production 

80 Rushes 

In the fourth installment of 
The Independent's series 
following a filmmaker, Brother 
to Brother begins shooting. 

BY Beth Pinsker 



Cover art by Kurt Hoffman 



January/February 2002 THE INDEPENDENT 3 




Introducing LowelScandles: A whole new way of looking at fluo- 
rescence for location or studio. With tubes arrayed like the barrel 
of a gun and an installed rotating speed ring, you can finally attach 
softboxes, Chinese lanterns and a host of other available front 
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multitude of tasks, from high-res to web-res, from film to digital. 
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Dear Readers, 

Even if you've never considered switching 
to digital to make your films, you'll want 
to take a look at our special Digital 
Filmmaking 2002 section. The special 
supplement to this issue of The 
Independent offers lots of practical advice 
for those who are deeply involved in the 
digital craft, but it also attempts to help 
filmmakers navigate the choices involved 
at every step of the production process. 

Do you want to start by finding out 
which digital camera to use? Check out 
the experiences of filmmakers Richard 
Linklater and Nicole Holofcener, who 
started off skeptical and wed to film, but 
ended up getting something out of their 
transitions to digital. Or if you're ready for 
the advanced course, find out why some 
cameras are better than others at things 
like close-ups or outdoor shots. 

If you've picked your camera and now 
need to find out all the cool gadgets and 
accessories, see what our expert, Robert 
Goodman, recommends. (He also reviews 
the new Canon XUs later in the issue.) 

Are you editing your film and having 
trouble with Final Cut Pro? And who 
isn't? See what Independent readers have 
asked our advice columnist, Bart Weiss, 
and what answers he's come up with. 

Have you considered side-stepping the 
whole Hollywood scene to make your 
own DVDs? Greg Gilpatrick, who pro- 
duces his own, dreams up his ultimate sys- 
tem for self-production. And if the price 
tag for all of that is a little steep, you can 
consider some products we've found for 
the low-budget filmmaker. 

As always, you'll find much more infor- 
mation about filmmaking throughout the 
magazine. In this issue, Chicago film crit- 
ic Ray Pride takes you into the secret 
world of festival juries and critics awards 
to figure out just what goes on. 
Filmmakers Alliance founder Jacques 
Thelemaque lobbies for a new definition 
of independent film that takes indepen- 
dent distribution into account. We inau- 
gurate a monthly DVD and video review 
column. And, as always, our staff com- 
piles a comprehensive list of festivals, 
competitions, and other listings. 

Beth Pinsker 
Editor in chief 



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January/February 2002 THE INDEPENDENT 5 



...In the movie-crazed town of Stony Brook on the campus of the State University of New 
York, they're taking a revolutionary tack; something for everybody. Studio Blockbusters. 
Independents. Short films. 

It's visionary. 

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Entry Deadline; April 15, 2002 





ONTARIO BANS BREILUrSfyirGM 



\5C^ill the U.S. follow the lead? 



BY Farrin Jacobs 
When the Ontario Film Review Board 
(OFRB) deemed scenes of nudity involv- 
ing teens in Catherine Breillat's Fat Girl 
too controversial to rate, it effectively 
banned the film. Unlike in the United 
States, where films can be distributed 
without being rated by the Motion Picture 
Association of America (MPAA), a movie 
that is rejected by the OFRB cannot be 
distributed at all in the province. If this 
sounds like something that needn't con- 
cern the average U.S. filmmaker, take 
note: it could happen here, too. 

Fat Girl, which was approved by the 
stringent review board in Britain, passed 
in Quebec, and got an R rating in the 
U.S., has received much critical acclaim 
for its treatment of a girl's sexual awaken- 
ing and, in fact, played at the Toronto 
International Film Festival in September 
2001. But according to the OFRB's deci- 
sion, the nudity in question isn't necessary 



and should therefore be excised. The 
board has called for scenes that span 15 
minutes of the film to be cut. 

The co-distributors. Cowboy Pictures 
and Lions Gate, appealed the initial rul- 
ing, stating firmly that they would not 
allow the film to be censored. "Even a few 
seconds is bad," remarked Noah Cowan, 
co-president of Cowboy Pictures, the 
night before he learned that his appeal 
was denied. "But 15 minutes is unfath- 
omable." The appeal included letters of 
support from noted Canadian directors 
Atom Egoyan and David Cronenberg. 

The dissenting judges — the board ruled 
three to two against rating the film — each 
issued written opinions. "This intelligent 
handling of a controversial subject, ado- 
lescent sexuality, does not glorify or glam- 
orize the subject," wrote board member 
Sara Waxman. "If anything, this is an 
anti-sex film." And Roger Currie agreed, 
writing that he "felt the nudity in ques- 



tions was not gratuitous and was a legiti- 
mate choice for the filmmaker to make. I 
feel strongly that in such a situation the 
board should exercise discretion." 

According to Cowan, who is pretty 
well-versed in the ways of the OFRB hav- 
ing been an international programmer at 
the Toronto Film Festival: "Child pornog- 
raphy is always a hot-button issue. No 
amount of violence will drive them to ban 
a movie. But [so-called] child pornogra- 
phy is an issue that is very easy to galva- 
nize the public on, especially when people 
haven't seen the film." 

In the past, the board has refused to 
rate other critically acclaimed yet contro- 
versial films, including Louis Malle's Pretty 
Baby and Volker Schlondorff's The Tin 
Drum. In 1995, however, Larry Clark's 
Kids made it through with an AA (Adult 
Accompaniment) rating. And in 1998, 
Adrian Lyne's Lolita, which created much 
controversy and had trouble finding dis- 
tribution in the U.S. (it eventually aired 
on Showtime) , was given an R rating. 

The decision about Fat Girl is in line 
with the board's Theatres Act, in which 
one provision states, "After viewing a film, 
the Board may refuse to approve a film for 
exhibition or distribution in Ontario 



Januar>'/Fehruar>' 2002 THE INDEPENDENT 7 



•j/^ 



where the film contains. . .a scene where a 
person who is or is intended to represent 
a person under the age of eighteen years 
appears nude or partially nude in a sexu- 
ally suggestive context, or in a scene of 
explicit sexual activity. ..." 

That language sounds a lot like a provi- 
sion in the U.S.'s 1996 Child Pornography 
Prevention Act, currently getting its time 
on the U.S. Supreme Court's stage. Given 
its title, the embattled statute wouldn't 
seem to affect as much of the filmmaking 
community as it actually does. But as we 
go into round three of a suit arguing the 
constitutionality of certain provisions of 
the law, the implications of what the 
statute might portend are becoming more 
clear. Filmmakers who once thought their 
biggest battles were with the MPAA over 
NC-17 ratings may now face an even 
greater challenge — dealing with law 
enforcement. 

When Congress passed the 1996 law, it 
marked a shift from protecting children 
actually involved in pornography to pro- 
tecting the interests of children in gener- 
al, and was specifically directed at the 
new possibilities digital media allowed. 



According to the statute, child 
pornography is now defined as: 
"any visual depiction, includ- 
ing any photograph, film, 
video, picture, drawing or 
computer or computer-gener- 
ated image or picture, which is 
produced by electronic, mech- 
anical or other means, of sexu- 
ally explicit conduct." 

At issue when the argu- 
ments were first heard in 
November was the stipulation 
that anything that "appears to 
be a minor engaging in sexual- 
ly explicit conduct is considered child 
pornography." 

Directors have always handled the sex- 
ual censorship issues in different ways. 
When the French film Baise-Moi ran into 
trouble last year with the Ontario board, 
20 seconds had to be cut before the film 
was deemed suitable for rating. In Todd 
Solondz's case, he decided to go the least 
subtle route: In his upcoming feature, 
Storytelling, Solondz uses a big red box to 
block out a scene the MPAA found to be 
"pornographic." "I just didn't want to he 




the victim of censorship," the 
director told IndieWIRE 
back in July. He said he did- 
n't want his audience to be in 
the dark in terms of what 
they weren't allowed to see. 
"The one thing I didn't want 
was what happened to 
Kubrick's Eyes Wide Shut, 
where everything was so ele- 
gantly removed digitally, so 
the audience never knew 
what it never saw. And I 
want the audience to know 
what it's not allowed to see." 
But that kind of circumvention 
might not be enough if the Supreme 
Court rules that the Child Pornography 
law can be used constitutionally to prose- 
cute people like Solondz for scenes in 
their films. A decision is expected to be 
handed down by late spring. But until 
then, U.S. filmmakers should look to 
Ontario for a vision of what their future 
might hold. 

Farrin Jacobs is managing editor 
of The Independent. 



On March 27, 1999 

John Wesley brutally stabbed his fiancee 

33 times with a large butcher knife 

On March 27, 2000 

he searches for the answers 

surrounding her death 

because... 



During A Mental Blackout Even Screams Are Silent 

DARK TOMORROW 



8 THE INDEPENDENT January/February 2002 



FILMMAKERS RALLY FOR 
IRAN'S TAHMINEH MILANI 

BY Richard Baimbridge 

Renowned Iranian filmmaker Tah- 
mineh Milani is no stranger to controver' 
sy. But now fact and fiction are becoming 
intertwined as the filmmaker faces possi- 
ble execution for "supporting factions 
waging a war against God." 

Earlier works like The Legend of a Sigh 
and Two Women have clearly demonstrat- 
ed Milani's willingness to take on the 
Iranian establishment, especially when it 
came to the taboo subject of feminist 
issues. Milani's most recent work, The 
Hidden Half, focuses on a woman who 
reveals her political past to her husband, a 
judge traveling to a 
small village to hear 
the death row appeal 
of a woman impris- 
oned for involve- 
ment with a left-wing 
group prior to the 
Islamic revolution in 
1979. The script was 
submitted to Iran's 
Ministry of Culture 
and the film was 
shown at the Fajr Film 
Festival in Tehran 
last February and then at Tehran theaters 
with official government approval. 
Nonetheless, in a Kafka-esque twist, 
Milani was arrested in August and has 
now become like the character in her film. 

It is the first time that a filmmaker has 
faced such a serious sentence in Iran, 
according to Ray Privett of Chicago -based 
Facets Multimedia, which is spearheading 
the campaign to have the charges against 
Milani dropped. The drive has successful- 
ly brought together major Hollywood 
names like Francis Ford Coppola, Ang 
Lee, and Oliver Stone, and groups like 
AIVE 

But more importantly, says Privett, it 
has generated an almost unprecedented 
response from the international film com- 
munity, including countries like China, 
where similar policies continue to stifle 
political and artistic freedom in cinema. 
Iran's president, Mohammad Khatami, 
has also publicly spoken out in favor of 
Milani, directly opposing the fundamen- 




talist Revolutionary Council, which 
issued the charges and ransacked Milani's 
home and office looking for "evidence" 
against her. The director was subsequent- 
ly released, and has since been free to 
travel outside the country, yet the 
charges still remain in place. Thus, 
although no trial date has been set, 
Milani could feasibly be dragged into 
court at any time. 

After consulting with Milani's hus- 
band, Mohammad Nikbin, who plays the 
judge in The Hidden Half, Facets 
Multimedia, which has distributed 
Milani's previous work in the U.S., asked 
a number of filmmakers to join a petition 
drive publicizing the case. Privett says 
that even though Milani is now out of 
prison, the charges are being held over 
her head. "Whether these are just scare 
tactics or not is irrel- 

5 evant," he says. 

° "Some may think 

O 

I [not bringing Milani 
^ to trial] is an accept- 
m able solution. But 



Iranian filmmaker Tahmineh Milani (center) 
is on trial for alleged comments she made. 



I it's clear that others 
i have, in fact, been 
5 executed, and that 
she won't be free as 
an outspoken film- 
maker until these 
charges are com- 
pletely dropped." 
While Iranian film has enjoyed a rela- 
tive amount of freedom, as witnessed by 
films like J afar Panahi's The Circle and 
Milani's own Two Women, authorities 
decided that she crossed the line of 
acceptability with The Hidden Half, which 
explores sensitive political subjects with- 
out cloaking them in allegory. Another big 
factor in the harsh reaction, according to 
Privett, was the interview that Milani gave 
to an Iranian newspaper two days before 
her arrest in which she openly criticized 
the status quo in Iran. Asked why he 
thinks Milani would dare take such a risk, 
Privett says, "She is definitely a woman 
fighting for her own human rights, and she 
is not afraid to be very clear about how she 
feels." 

To add your name to the petition, and 
find out the latest developments on 
Milani's case, check out www.facets.org. 

Richard Baimbridge is a contributing 
editor at The Independent. 



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January/February 2002 THE INDEPENDENT 9 



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ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR, 
AUDIO PRODUCTION/STUDIES 

The Department of Visual and Media Arts at Emerson College seeks to fill a full-time 
tenured or tenure-track Associate Professor position in Audio Production/Studies in the 
Department of Visual and Media Arts. Candidates should be able to teach graduate and 
undergraduate audio production/studies courses which could include: basic analog and 
digital audio production, sound for film and television, audio for new media, MIDI 
production and sound synthesis, studio recording, field recording, psycho-acoustics, 
or critical studies in sound and music. Candidates should have the ability to teach a 
cross-media introductory production or studies course. M.F.A. or Ph.D., college level 
teaching experience and a record of creative, scholarly, or professional work are required. 

ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR, NEW MEDIA 

The Department of Visual and Media Arts at Emerson College seeks to fill a full-time 
tenured or tenure-track Associate Professor position in new media design and production. 
Candidates should be capable of guiding students through the technical and conceptual 
process of producing work for the Web and interactive CD-ROM or DVD media. The 
successful candidate will have a strong body of creative work as designer/director/producer 
of Web, CD-ROM, or DVD media. Additional competency in 3D-animation, 
programming/data-base design-site management, or graphic design is desirable. 
M.F.A. or Ph.D., college level teaching experience and a record of creative, scholarly, 
or professional work are required. 

Please send a vita, statement of teaching philosophy, and three references with contact 
information to: Chair, Search Committee, Department of Visual and Media Arts, 
Emerson College, 120 Boylston Street Boston, MA 02116. Review will begin on 
November 15 and continue until the position is filled. A portfolio of creative work will 

be requested after the initial review. Please do not send work samples. Positions begin 

September 2002. 

The Department of Visual and Media Arts is an integrated department composed of visual 

arts (photography and art history), media studies, and media production in film, TV/video, 

new media, and audio/radio. Emerson College is an equal opportunity, affirmative action 

employer and is strongly committed to increasing the diversity of its faculty. Women and 

minorities are encouraged to apply. 

"^ Emerson College 

"N^ BRINGING INNOVATION TO COMMUNICATION AND THE ARTS 



call 



entries 



final deadline January 3i. zooz 




SONY SAYS GOODBYE TO 
THE BETACAM SP 

In October, Sony Electronics an- 
nounced that it would be moving to an 
all-digital lineup of camcorders, which 
means that diehard Betacam SP fans 




The Sony BVW-400 Betacam, which Sony is cut- 
ting from production in favor of mini-DV formats. 



might want to consider weaning them- 
selves off their analog addiction. Betacam 
SP customers, however, won't be left com- 
pletely in the cold. They'll still have prod- 
uct support from Sony. 

"We are discontinuing manufacturing 
our lineup of Betacam SP camcorders," 
explains a Sony spokesman. "However, 
we are continuing to make Betacam SP 
VTRs and continuing to make the media 
tor it." In fact, he stresses, "Sony will 
continue to make the parts and service 
the parts for seven years after the last 
camcorder is sold, which is Sony corpo- 
rate policy." 

The reasons for discontinuing the ana- 
log camera have a lot to do with cost effi- 
ciency. A digital camera, like the DSR- 
500, runs somewhere in the $16,000-to- 
$20,000 range and now purports to offer 
almost the same picture quality as an ana- 
log camera, which costs approximately 
$55,000. 

"Sony has a long track record of pro- 
tecting legacy recordings," said Larry 
Thorpe, senior vice president of acquisi- 
tion for Sony Electronics' Broadcast and 
Professional Company, in a press release. 
"We will continue to support our analog 
based product lines far into the future so 
that they can play in the emerging digital 
era." 

For more information go to www.sony- 
biz.net or www.sel.soriy.com. 

— Fanin Jacobs 



10 THE INDEPENDENT January/February 2002 




MILE HIGH PROFIT SHARING 

A new distribution company is aiming to 
make Denver a breeding ground for inde- 
pendent films. New Deal Pictures, which 
just started operating in the city, is geared 
to providing independent filmmakers with 
a chance at affordable theatrical distribu- 
tion. New Deal's strategy, which it calls 
"The Denver Model," is to structure dis- 
tribution deals to enable revenue sharing 
among all interested parties (investors, 
artists, producers, and New Deal itself)- 
The innovation of the method is that it 
eliminates the standard distribution fee. 
"Our prime goal is the creation of a self- 
sustainable community with distribution 
being the engine that drives it," says New 
Deal chairman Joel Ehrlich. For now, the 
company is focusing on Colorado film- 
makers but intends to eventually expand 
into other markets. "We are trying to 
encourage growth of a resident film com- 
munity in Denver," Ehrlich says. The first 
project will be a comedy by Richard 
Dresser called Below the Belt, which will 
be filmed entirely in Colorado on DV. 

— Jason Guerrasio 

GETTING SHORTY 

The International Short Film Festival 
Oberhausen, which is held each year in 
Germany in May, has created an Internet 
magazine that is totally devoted to short 
films. This e-zine (www.shortfilm.de) will 
report, promote, and publicize all aspects 
of short films, including events and new 
projects. Its goal is to "engage the partici- 
pation of national and international part- 
ners in order to represent short films in a 
fitting manner," states the introductory 
release. Along with monthly feature arti- 
cles, the magazine contains interviews, 
commentaries, and news about the short 
film industry. The magazine also offers 
services such as a newsletter, calendar of 
upcoming events, and a forum intended 



to help all short filmmakers communicate 
with one another. And it's not just in 
German. 

-JG 

ONE BIG DISH NETWORK? 

The announcement that EchoStar would be 
the company to buy Hughes Electronics, 
with its crown jewel of DirecTV, is hardly 
the end of the complicated history of the 
American satellite TV industry. 

The proposed deal, which involves a 
switch of stock and assets designed to 
keep Hughes parent 
General Motors from 




paying 

capital gains taxes 
now has to pass regulatory hur- 
dles at the FCC and Congress. 

At issue is competition. DirecTV is the 
larger of the two American satellite TV 
providers, with 10.5 million customers to 
EchoStar's 6 million. If these entities are 
combined into one company, it would 
hold the licenses of all the available 
broadcast satellite frequencies, and there 
could be no possibility for further compe- 
tition. (There used to be three satellite 
entities in the U.S. back in the 1980s, but 
when the third went out of business, its 
assets were split between EchoStar and 
DirecTV) 

No matter who ended up with the 
winning bid for DirecTV, there would 
have been regulatory scrutiny. If a com- 
pany like Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. 
had been the one to buy the company, 
the issue would have been competition 
of a different sort, namely that a broad- 
cast network would then also own a key 
distribution system. 

EchoStar is already arguing that satel- 



EchoStar's main satellite. 

PHOTO COURTESY ECHOSTAR 



lite competition isn't what's of concern, 
but that cable competition should be on 
the front burner. A mega- satellite compa- 
ny would just start to measure up to giants 
like Time Warner and AT&T. And since 
those big guns split up the country now, 
holding cable franchise monopolies city 
by city, a revved up satellite company 
could provide a real alternative where it 
hasn't been able to so far. 

What this means for consumers, or for 
independent networks, public channels, 
and those looking for alternative pro- 
gramming sources, is not yet clear. 

WorldLink TV for instance, is currently 
carried on both EchoStar and DirecTV as 
part of the satellite companies' commit- 
ment to give 4 percent of its capacity to 
public interest programming. The question, 
says WorldLink president Kim Spencer, is: 
"Will this reduce the number of public ser- 
vice slots? More slots means more chances 
for channels like WorldLink, Free Speech 
TV and others that present a different 
point of view." 

—BP 



SQUEEZED 
AT PBS 



PBS trimmed its staff 
almost 10 percent in November, after 
losing almost that much in March. This 
round of cutbacks, however, includes 
the closing of the PBS Midwest office, 
which had just opened up less than a 
year ago under the leadership of Alyce 
Myatt. Myatt will not lose her job and 
will transfer to the main PBS office in 
Virginia. But facing an uncertain future 
in the budget crunch at the network is 
the public affairs series Public Square. 
The show was supposed to premiere 
this spring, but may be delayed. 

—BP 

ERRATA 

In the November 2001 issue, the film 
Boomtown was incorrectly identified on p. 
29 in the article "Appeasing the Festival 
Gods: 10 Filmmakers Assess Their 
Chances." It is a feature-length documen- 
tary produced by Mixed Greens and 
Sweetspot Pictures. 



January/February 2002 THE INDEPENDENT 11 



v^^^i^^^ii) 



Digipendence for All 

How to rethink independent film 

BY Jacques Thelemaque 



I THINK it's clear TO MOST INDEPENDENT 
filmmakers that not only does the term 
"independent film" need rethinking, so 
does the whole business of independent 
film. Greater access to production has not 
created greater access to distribution — in 
fact, quite the opposite. This is where the 
true power of digital filmmaking has yet to 
be realized. While there are a few compa- 
nies committed to digital filmmaking as a 
tool for greater creative growth and inde- 
pendence, they are still operating in the 
conventional distribution marketplace 
and are forced to "play the game" with 
the existing marketplace realities. 

I recendy completed a digital feature 
called The Dogwalker. In the process, I 
realized how much I had to fight influ- 
ences outside of my own creative voice — 
I had to pare down all the bullshit I had 
unconsciously embraced from the domi- 
nant movie language and aesthetic that I 
thought I had rejected. We shot a lot of 
digital tape in a lot of different ways to get 
past all of that. Ultimately, I think we suc- 
ceeded, and were helped immensely in the 
process by the ease, efficiency, and relative 
low cost of our digital tools. It was an 
incredibly freeing and fulfilling experi- 
ence, but one that left me still concerned 
over the film's fate in the brutal indepen- 
dent film marketplace. I succumbed to the 
poverty consciousness of thinking there 
are just too many films out there, and 
mine was just another on the slush pile. 

But upon second thought I quickly 
realized the utter ridiculousness of that 
kind of thinking. Have you ever heard 
anyone complain that there are too many 
songs in the world? Too many paintings? 
Or too many novels? All creative work 
organically finds its meaningful place in 
the world when it is completely free to do 
so. Just as each human being is unique, so 
can be their work if they are willing to go 
there. And there will be an audience for 
that bravery and authenticity. This belief 
is not just an act of faith but a recognition 
of the history of creative work that is. 




Jacques Thelemaque 



nonetheless, un- 
embraceable to 
those invested in 
the prevailing pro- 
duction-distribu- 
tion paradigm. But 
today's gatekeep- 
ers will be the 
dinosaurs of to- 




Thelemaque's The Dogwalker. 



morrow. 

It's our chal- 
lenge, however, to nudge them along the 
road to extinction. This can be done if 
enough of us simply believe that there is a 
market for our films 
that extends beyond 
the limited taste range 
of the gatekeepers. And 
I believe digital tech- 
nology will light the 
way. Already we have 
direct-to-home DVD 
and satellite exhibition 
broadening the possi- 
bilities beyond theatri- 
cal and cable distribu- 
tion. The Internet tried 
and died, but only tem- 
porarily. The technolo- 
gy is quietly continuing 
to develop and eventu- 
ally Internet distribution will realize itself 
powerfully. 

Whether or not a new Internet envi- 
ronment will provide a balanced forum 
for fresh creative voices will depend on 
what we do as citizen-filmmakers. It 
could easily go the way of TV, where the- 
oretically public airwaves are now com- 
pletely under the control of the highest 
bidding corporations. It will take our col- 
lective imagination and determination to 
uproot the existing paradigm. Although 
the forces of technology seem to support 
our cause, it is up to us to seize those 
technological reigns and make it happen. 

At Filmmakers Alliance, the film col- 
lective my wife and I created eight years 
ago, our goal is to democratize filmmak- 



ing, and in the process, clarify for our- 
selves what it means to be an independent 
filmmaker. What is it we filmmakers are 
independent of, anyway? The easy, com- 
mon answer is big studio filmmaking. But 
just because you aren't actually making a 
film under the auspices of a studio, is it 
truly independent film if you are still 
working under its influence and/or 
embracing a nearly identical creative 
agenda? 

We have, therefore, chosen to define 
independent film for ourselves as "person- 
al cinema" (it seems much too precious a 
term to adopt officially). After all, true 
creative independence is not independent 
of any one thing; it is independent of all 
things save the pure expression of the 
individual creative soul. To be truly inde- 
pendent is to create work that speaks 
fi^om the depths of our innermost creative 
selves. And digital filmmaking quite sim- 
ply provides the most effi- 
cient, accessible, and sup- 
portive format for that 
kind of work. As we see 
more digital work, it con- 
stantly re-defines itself, 
refusing to be confined to 
a singular aesthetic defini- 
tion and providing unlim- 
ited potential for personal 
expression. 

In other words, if distri- 
bution is the dam, our 
films are the flood. We 
ha\e the means to over- 
run traditional distribu- 
tion with an unstoppable 
flow of personal, visionary- work whose 
force cannot be ignored. 

Independent film, as we know and love 
it, is not dead; it has simply shifted, as it 
does from time to time. It slips away from 
the scene -makers and waits to be found 
again. And, for now, it's hiding in the 
promise of digital filmmaking, knowing 
that it is destined to be discovered anew 
by an audience longing to see work that is 
truly from the soul — independent film 
that is truly independent. 

Filmmakers Alliance, based in L.A, pur- 

diased the Digidance Film Festival and is 

hosting the 2002 event in Park City, Utah 

from] an. II to 13. For more information, 

see ivww.filmnuikersalliance.com or 

wu'U'.digidariceonline.com. 



12 THE INDEPENDENT January/February 2002 



/ — ; 



Natural History of the Doc 

The anthropology of the Margaret Mead Festival 



S 




Dennis O'Rourke's Cannibal Tours travels 
through Papua New Guinea. 



At the 25th Anniversary edition of 
the Margaret Mead Film and Video 
Festival, the present caught up with the 
past in unexpected ways. "The Mead," as 
New York City's only anthropological 
documentary festival is familiarly known, 
had planned a loving and sometimes iron- 
ic look back at a quarter century of clas- 
sic ethnographic work and favorites from 
the recent past, as well as the latest inter- 
national non-academic documentaries 
that have become its standard fare. 

However, the attacks of September 1 1 
added an undercurrent of emotional 
introspection, even tension, to the 
Mead's annual review of global culture. 
The debate over the terror attacks and 
the nation's response was echoed in con- 
versations after films about Afghanistan, 
U.S. nuclear testing in the Pacific, anti- 
abortion terror in the U.S., and an his- 
toric song protesting lynching, to name 
but a few. In hindsight this seemed only 
appropriate; the Mead is named for one of 
America's most influential voices on 
understanding other cultures, and as a 
nation we are now struggling with how to 
do that, abroad and at home. 

Nowhere was this heightened sense of 



BY Scott Meserve 



relevancy more 
poignant or pow- 
erful than at 
the festival kick- 
off With the 
usual opening 
night theater un- 
der renovation, 
guests were in- 
vited to the Mus- 
eum of Natural 
Jf^^ If History's Hall 
^WP*r| of Ocean Life 
under the mas- 
sive, suspended 
Blue Whale to 
listen to spoken 
non-fiction pre- 
sented by the 
Moth, a New 
York City storytelling collective. Asked to 
investigate how generations affect each 
other, the storytellers included maestro 
Tony Amato, subject of film entry Amato: 
A Love Affair with Opera, and Margaret 
Mead's granddaughter, Sevanne Martin. 

The final storyteller was Dan Duddy, 
a member of the New York City Fire 
Department's elite Rescue Company 1, 
which lost 11 men at the World Trade 
Center. Off-duty on the 11th, he waited 
at his station house until, seeing the 
towers collapse, he raced to ground zero. 
During the following weeks, Dan told 
how Kelly, his California-based daughter, 
would turn their shared telephone con- 
versations of hope and determination 
into e-mail chain letters sent out across 
the nation. Dan's father, himself a 
retired New York fireman, and Kelly 
joined Dan on stage to help him tell his 
story and get him — and the breathless 
audience — through aching moments of 
silence and tears. 

In some cases the 25th anniversary 
films sought to recognize how different 
the festival has become compared to its 
founding philosophy. Festival Artistic 
Director Elaine Charnov was eager, even 



impatient, for the Mead to shed its repu- 
tation as only an exercise in museum-style 
education. "We've moved away from 
[ethnographic film] so much. We consid- 
er ourselves not just an anthropological 
festival, but showcasing modern docu- 
mentary styles... I've really tried to reposi- 
tion the festival to open up to larger audi- 
ences," she says 

To that end, iconoclastic Aussie Dennis 
O'Rourke was on hand to introduce his 
1987 Cannibal Tours, which follows 
Western tourists paying to "spiritually 
connect" with Papua New Guinean tribes 
while haggling over grass skirt souvenirs 
for home. In Cannibal and his latest work, 
Cunnamulla, about race and sex relations 
in a dead end town in the Queensland 
outback, O'Rourke inverts the traditional 
assumptions of enthographic filmmaking 
by suggesting that we have met the 
anthropological "Other" and they are us. 
As O'Rourke commented, "We're all ugly 
tourists, we can't help it." 

Fabrizio Lazzaretti and Alberto 
Vendemmiati's Jung (War) : In the Land of 
the Mujahaddin follows an Italian doctor 
in Northern Alliance territory in 
Afghanistan working to set up a field hos- 
pital. Graphic images of mutilated stumps 
and the cacophony of war and pain are 
co-mingled. Doctors Without Borders 




Friends like Stan Brakhage talk about Maya 
Deren's life in Martina Kudlacek's In the Mirror 
ofMayaDeren. 



USA Executive Director Nicolas de 
Torrente took questions after the screen- 
ing and was immediately deluged with 



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Strange Fruit \e\\s the story of Billie Holliday's anti- 
lynching protest song. 



questions about conditions on the ground 
in Afghanistan. 

A dramatic highlight of the festival was 
Strange Fruit, Joel Katz' work in progress, 
which delivers Abe Meeropol, a Jewish 
Bronx high school teacher, from obscurity. 
Meeropol wrote "Strange Fruit," the anti- 
lynching ballad made famous by Billie 
Holliday. So moving are its lyrics that 
even Holliday claimed off and on that she 
wrote part or all of it. The film looks at 
the response of the American Communist 
party and radicalized Jews in the 1930s to 
racial injustice (a la Scottsboro Boys), and 
also follows current artists who have 
revived the song for today's civil rights 
cause. 

"It will be sad where we start, but don't 
cry, I promise it will be funny at the end." 
So pledged Victor Kossakovsky during the 
introduction of his I hived You... (Three 
Romances) (2001), a U.S. premiere that 
appeared in the anniversary program with 
his 1992 The Belovs. I Loved You... binds 
three separate shorts together in an 
attempt to parse the moment-by-moment 
state of being in love. 

Kossakovsky begins with an elderly wife 
doting on her bedridden husband, then 
shifts to cover a nondescript wedding 
between lovers, and finally brings down 
the house with a heart-wrenching and 
hilarious last afternoon of the year at a 
Moscow kindergarten. Kossako\'sk>' gives 
us more than quotidian heartbreak, for 
these moments capture a poet's fear and 
joy that love can exist only in the 
moment. 

Fresh from winning the Vienna Film 
Award from the Viennale, the U.S. pre- 
miere of Martina Kudlacek's In the Mirror 
of Maya Deren brought a celebration of 



the avant-garde to the Mead. Deren's life 
and work as a dancer, filmmaker, Voudou 
disciple, and aggressive sexual aesthete 
are retold by contemporaries like 
Katherine Dunham, Jonas Mekas, and 
Stan Brakhage, all set to a score by John 
Zorn. Deren delved deeply into Voudou 
in Haiti, and Brakhage talks of being 
cursed by her — literally. But the use of 
never-before seen footage of Deren's work 
and personal images dug up from the 
basement of Film Anthology Archives 
(not even Mekas knew they existed) 
makes the film a discovery. 

The Mead closed with Matthew Testa's 
The Buffalo War, which follows the for- 
tunes of bison that wander off in 
Yellowstone National Park and into the 
crosshairs of Montana's state-sanctioned 
culling program. As iconic as the buffalo 
are, the story's real power lies in its even- 
handed assessment of the separate strug- 




The Shinjuku Boys are really women living as men 
in Japan. 

gles of Native American and environ- 
mental activists to change policies long- 
supported by ranchers and Montana 
bureaucracies. It is a model approach to 
laying out conflicting voices with empa- 
thy and restraint. 

After 25 years, the Mead remains a 
vital, dynamic, and relevant gathering 
place for cultural documentary — this year 
possibly e\'en more than could have been 
imagined. And once again, a small pack- 
age of 12 to 15 Mead titles will travel to 
more than 25 cities domestically and 
abroad with institutions interested in 
building a program around the festival's 
selections. Said Chamov, "We provide 
the Good Housekeeping Seal of docu- 
mentary' approval." 

Scott Meserve is a freelance n'riter 
and filmmaker based in New York. 



14 THE INDEPENDENT January/February 2002 



Films for Breakfast 

Kudzu's got a caffeinated buzz 

BY Julie Phillips Jordan 




Kudzu founders Todd Campbell (left) and Nic Holt. 



It's Saturday morning in early 
October, nearing the end of Athens, 
Georgia's weeklong Kudzu Film Festival. 
Festival co-producers/directors Todd 
Campbell and Nic Holt make their way, 
bleary- eyed and caffeine -buzzed, into a 
small favorite downtown Athens coffee 
house to talk film with visitors and locals. 

One of the most popular elements of 
the 4-year-old festival, which takes place 
in October each year, 
is the daily morning 
coffee, during which 
filmmakers, judges, 
and featured guests 
are invited to talk 
about what they do 
and why they do it. 
The setting is inti- 
mate, the conversa- 
tions relaxed. 

"They've often 
gone off in really 
bizarre directions," 



notes Campbell, adding that in 
previous years, some morning 
coffees have resulted in im- 
promptu screenings at people's 
houses or in local bars. "And any 
of the production and distribu- 
tion deals that have been made 
have all gone down at the morn- 
ing coffees. For it being as early 
as it is, they're always lively and 
provide a good opportunity for 
people to meet one-on-one and 
really talk." 

This morning, the featured 
guest is filmmaker and acclaimed 
video director W.I.Z., who trav- 
eled to this small southern town 
of less than 100,000 from 
London. W.I.Z., also a judge at 
this year's festival, discusses his 
work with Chemical Brothers, 
Marilyn Manson, and others, 
providing insight on the ins and 
outs of videomaking and his 
more recent foray into filmmak- 
ing. His new short film. Baby, debuted at 
the 2001 Sundance Film Festival. 

A TV is set up to view W.I.Z.'s work, 
questions are asked, comments are made. 
Following the hour-or-so-long discussion, 
Holt thanks W.I.Z. and invites guests to 
stick around. They do. In fact, guests stick 
around a lot, and it's one of the prevailing 
elements about the festival that visitors 
hold dear. 





Little Roger Mead jams in The Ballad of Little Roger Mead. 



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"I've made some good friends," says 
W.I.Z., following his Q&A. "This is a com- 
munity of very hospitable people who have 
a real interest in film, and seem to me to 
have a desire to provide a format for films 
that wouldn't normally get seen. Too many 
festivals out there are about selling films, 
which is, of course, important as well. But 
Kudzu obviously operates on a smaller, 
more intimate scale that's more about 
filmmaking and seeing films." 

Kudzu's competitive screenings don't 
adhere to any particular theme. Films 
shown during the nightly five -hour 
screenings run the gamut from documen- 
taries to feature-length dramas, with a mix 
of shorts — comedies, simple animated 
films, and sophisticated computer generat- 
ed work — in between two feature-length 
films. Holt and Campbell allow the judges 
to choose prize categories during the view- 
ing process. This year awards were given 
to Best Documentary, Revolution OS (fea- 
ture-length); Best Narrative, Dog Days (a 
B&W short); and Best Animation, /8 
(computer generated animated short). 
The big prize, the Seattle Post Affiliates 
Award, which provides a package valued 
at more than $12,000, went to The Man 
With the Empty Room, a black-and-white 
short by Todd Korgan. 

Each year the festival also gives an audi- 
ence choice award, which went this year 
to the feature The Ameriean Astronaut, by 
Cory McAbee. Other awards were given 
in separate categories for student films — a 
new addition to the festi\'al this yean 
Though Holt and Campbell say they'd like 
to add venues as well as tilms, visitors say 
the formula works. 

"It's interesting — definitely different 
than other festivals I've been to," says 
Mark Carter, director of the short film The 
Ballad of Little Roger Mead, who has 
already visited five other festi\'als this year. 
"It's just a big block of film. I was a little 
scared to see e\'er>'one pouring out of the 
theater during intermission and was won- 
dering if people would come back, but it 
surprised me, because they did. The 
screenings were well-attended, which is 
really nice. With other festivals you have 
screenings throughout the day, and that 
can thin out interest, especially if your film 
is shown at 1 1 a.m. on a weekday." 

Mark Wynns, festi\'al consultant with 
the Savannah Film &i Video Festival and 



also a judge for this year's Kudzu Film 
Festival, agrees. "It's really nice for the 
filmmakers, because they don't have to 
spend all day running around passing out 
flyers, hoping to get people to come out 
and see their films. At any moment, the 




Todd Korgan's The Man with the Empty Room won 
the top money prize. 



festi\-al is all about the one film that's on 
the screen right now; two or three aren't 
all being screened at the same time. And 
though that's often the necessity-, I think 
(Holt and Campbell) have a good idea 
about the size and mood of their festival 
and what works best." 

Wynns adds that during one of the 
screenings there was a technical problem, 
but pn)jectionists worked to correct it and 
explained the situation to the audience. 
Instead of walking out, as usually happens, 
"The audience trusted them enough to 
wait a few minutes. And in the end, [orga- 
nizers] made sure e\er>- effort was made to 
represent that film as it should be seen and 
that's a great thing for filmmakers to be 
able to depend on that." 

"What's great about Kudzu," says judge 
Margret RR Echixerria, "is that it's very 
open. There's no reason you couldn't 
speak to ever\' filmmaker who makes it 
down. My director (who attended the fes- 
tival last year) said it best — that it's run 
by two guys who really lo\'e film, and that 
permeates everything that goes on with 
the festival. ..and really, that's what it 
should be about." 



Julie Phillips Jordan (jphilUps(5,onUne 

athcns.comjis the film, critic aiid arts 

and entertaininent editor of the 

Athens Banner-Herald m At/ieiis, Georgia. 



16 THE INDEPENDENT January/February 2002 



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Boiling Over with Films 

Hot Springs Celebrates a Decade of Documentaries 




Former U.N. weapons inspector Scott Ritter, 
now a first-time filmmaker. 



Former President Bill Clinton's home- 
town of Hot Springs, Arkansas has 
evolved in recent years from an old resort 
town famous for casinos and thermal 
baths into a cutting edge filmmakers' 
haven. This was in great evidence at the 
10th annual Hot Springs Documentary- 
Film Festival, held Oct. 12-21, which 
demonstrated its growth from a showcase 
for black-and-white documentaries and 
color travelogues featuring the Amazons 
into a tour of cinema verite, digital cine- 
ma, and all the latest films. 

This year, the 80 films screened provid- 
ed opportunities for a closer examination 
of work by both new and established film- 
makers, like Al Maysles, who showed 
La/ee's Kxn, which he co-directed. Or 
David Sutherland, who with his filmmak- 
er wife, Nancy, hosted a day-long showing 
of The farmer % Wife, which aired at 6 1/2 
hours on Frontline in 1998, in addition to 
screening Out of Sight (1995), a close-up 
look at infidelity. A new festival feature 
included two days of screening works in 
progress and highlighting emerging film- 
makers from the high school level. 

One world premiere was Canadian 
director Sheona McDonald's Lifers: 
Stories from Prison, a film five years in the 
making. The Toronto -based filmmaker 
was 22 when she embarked on her trip 
iiito a Vancouver prison where six men 
told her their stories. 

"I spent so long on the project it really 
did become my story as well," McDonald 



BY Larry Ault 

said during a question and answer session, 
explaining her reason for using her per- 
sonal narration to anchor the story. "I was 
curious. I had no idea I was in for a five- 
year trip. 1 felt fairly safe when I was at the 
institution." Asked if she intends to shoot 
a follow-up film, McDonald said "I am so 
done... I am done with those guys." 

Scott Ritter, a former United Nations 
weapons inspector in Iraq, closed the fes- 
tival with a world premiere of his docu- 
mentary, In Shifting Sands. The first-time 
filmmaker decided to make the 92-minute 
documentary because he had written a 
book about his experiences that was 
ignored. The piece deals with the deaths 
of more than 1.2 million Iraqis that Ritter 
blames on United Nations economic 
sanctions. As a filmmaker, he was permit- 
ted access to areas in Iraq that were off 
limits to him as a weapon's inspector. He 
describes his film as one that nobody 
wanted to see made — it was eventually 
funded by an Iraqi American. "I felt this 
mo\'ie had to be made," Ritter says. "It's 
difficult for a guy with no backing. I'm just 
a simple Marine." 

Staru'oids, by Los Angeles filmmaker 




18 THE INDEPENDENT January/February 2002 



Dennis Przywara, is an example of the 
type of oddball film that often surfaces at 
the festival. It tells the story of the six 
weeks Star Wars fans spent waiting in line 
to see Star Wars, Episode 1: The Phantom 
Menace on opening day. The crew stood 
in line with fans for 42 days, and at one 




David and Nancy Sutherland hosted an all-day 
screening of The Farmer's Wife. 



point Przywara was working several jobs 
while standing in line at two theaters. 
The 82-minute documentary was edited 
from almost 90 hours of video. An exam- 
ple of the oddness: Przywara accidentally 
filmed a murder suspect hiding in the line 
who was later caught by the police. 

As much as Hot Springs focuses direct- 
ly on filmmakers, it also pays attention to 
the audience. The festival's director of 
film, Melanie Masino, points out that this 
is not a venue for flashy awards or the 
kind of networking events designed to 
hook up filmmakers with distributors. 

"We're not a market festival," she says. 
"We like to focus on the filmmakers and 
their works. We are providing a venue for 
the audience to interact one on one with 
the filmmakers." 

To accomplish this, one of the key 
events of the festival was a day-long sem- 
inar, "Old Fashioned Filmmaking Meets 
21st Century Technology." Masino says 
the day provided "a chance for people to 
get a complete overview of the filmmak- 
ing process and information on cutting- 
edge technology in one day. There aren't 
many opportunities for that. I want to 
make that an annual event." 

Larry Ault is currently a senior Radio, 
TV and Film major at The University of 
Arkansas at Little Rock, after having spent 
30 years in the newspaper business. His 
film on Conrad Brooks screened as a work- 
in-progress at Hot Springs. 



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20 THE INDEPENDENT January/February 2002 




THEATRICAL 

The Farewell (New Yorker Films, Jan 16, 
dir.: Jan Schutte). Taking place in a single 
summer day, the film revolves around the 
playwright, poet, theatrical producer, and 
lover of many mistresses, Bertolt Brecht 
(Josef Bierbichler) . Brecht is at his lake- 
side home preparing for the fall theater 
season, and he thinks he has the world on 
a string. Then he finds himself in the mid- 
dle of a situation that could end his rela- 
tionship with everyone there. 

Storytelling (Fine Line, Jan. 25, dir.: Todd 
Solondz). Solondz fans don't have to wait 
any longer; the director is finally ready to 
unveil his first new film since 1998. And 
it promises to be as controversial and 
boundary-breaking as his previous films. 
There are actually two disctinct stories 
here: the first is a snapshot of college 
campus life; the second is about a dis- 
solute teen who lets a man film a docu- 
mentary about him. The film's overall 
statement about sexual politics and racial 
identity is heightened by Solondz's overt 
challenge of authority halfway throgh the 
film: He places a big red box over a bru- 
tal sex scene that the MPAA wanted him 
to cut to avoid an NC-17 rating. 

Frailty (Lions Gate Films, Feb. 1, dir.: Bill 
Paxton) . Paxton stars and also directs for 
the first time in this thriller about a father 
who thinks his family has been chosen by 
God to destroy the demons of the world. 
The story is weirdly complicated, with the 
father going through years of killings 
before the oldest (played as an adult by 
Matthew McConaughey) finally can't live 
with the guilt anymore. 

Scotland, PA (Lot 47, Feb. 8, dir: Billy 
Morrissette) . A 70s version of Macbeth 
set in a small town, this black comedy fol- 
lows Pat (Maura Tierney) and Joe 
McBeth (James LeGros) on their trouble- 
some journey through unsuccessful 
careers in the fast food industry. 
Consumed with their need for money and 




power, they will do anything to obtain it, 
even double-cross each other. 

Monsoon Wedding (USA Films, February 
15, dir.: Mira Nair). Nair's comedy, which 
won top honors at the Venice Film 
Festival, takes place during the frenzied 
days leading up to a family wedding in 
Delhi. The film has many subplots but 
never goes into a tail-spin thanks to 
Nair's ability to keep the farce balanced 
with keen social insights. (For more about 
Nair, see p. 30.) 

TELEVISION 

Monday Night Mayhem (TNT, Jan. 14, 
dir.: Ernest Dickerson). The year is 1970 
and ABC is down in prime-time ratings. 
Thus Monday Night Football was born. 
ABC wanted to throw three broadcasters 
in the booth and show the game with 
more cameras and more insights than 
ever before. The one thing they where 
missing was someone to keep viewers cap- 
tivated while watching the game. So out 
of the boxing scene came Howard Cosell 
(played flawlessly by John Tuturro). 

The Good War and Those Who Refused 
to Fight It (PBS, Jan. 15, dir.: Judith 
Ehrlich & Rick Tejada-Flores). This doc- 
umentary tells one of the untold stories of 
World War II: American conscientious 
objectors. It focuses on five men who, 
because of their religious beliefs and 
moral standards, did not support the war. 



(Left) The dapper professor 
(Robert Wisdom) in Storytelling. 



The film carefully explains that 
this did not mean that they 
where traitors to their country. They 
found other ways to help in the war effort. 
Some served in non-combatant positions 
in the armed services, others worked in 
civilian public service camps by helping to 
fight fires, become medical guinea pigs, or 
help in mental institutions. But some in 
America felt that these men were "un- 
American" and many were imprisoned 
because of their beliefs. The story is told 
through first-person testimonials and his- 
torical footage that brings back to life a 
time that was not only hard overseas, but 
in America as well. 

Out of the Closet, Off the Screen: The 
Life of William Haines (AMC, Feb. 5, 
dir.: Randy Barbato & Fenton Bailey). 
No, this isn't a new episode of E! True 
Hollywood Story but a one -hour documen- 
tary based on the acclaimed book by 
William Mann on the life and times of the 
first openly gay star in Hollywood, 
William Haines. Haines was a roaring 20s 
leading man who played the handsome 
character who always wins the heart of 
the young dame by the end of the movie. 
By the 30s he was one of the highest box 
office draws in American cinema. But his 
being openly gay made many in the busi- 
ness uncomfortable, including legendary 
MGM owner Louis B. Mayer, who forced 
Haines out of Hollywood. The story does 
not end there though. What Haines did- 
next surprises many who wrote him off 
and made him even more famous than he 
ever was as an actor. 



January/February 2002 THE INDEPENDENT 21 



Fund 

■ BY M I C 




•^ 




BY Michelle Coe 



Mixed Green 
projects 
include: (clock- 
wise from left) 
Hell House, 
Questioning 
Faith, and 
Ceasars Park. 



Mixed Greens 

What is Mixed Greens? 

Mixed Greens promotes and supports 
visual artists and documentary filmmak- 
ers by selling and exhibiting art, produc- 
ing films, and cultivating new collector 
bases. Through our website, we exhibit 
and sell curated artwork online, show 
short web-based documentaries, and pro- 
vide information and articles about art, 
collecting, and contemporary culture. 
We're dedicated to helping emerging doc- 
umentary filmmakers see their vision to 
completion, and beyond. 




Mixed Greens 

601 W. 26th St. 11th Floor 

New York, NY 10001 

Phone: 212-331-8887 

Emaih docs@mixedgreens.com 

Web: http://www.mixedgreens.com 

Filmmaker Contact: Devorah DeVries 
Staff: Paige West, Executive Producer 
(above left); Selina Lewis Davidson, 
Supervising Producer (above right); 
Nancy Roth, Producer 

Projects funded: Art & Racing: The 
Life and Work of Salvatore Scarpitta, 
Worst Possible Illusion: The Curiosity 
Cabinet of Vik Muniz, Caesar's Park, 
Hell House, Questioning Faith, 
Boomtown, Escuela, Slumming It: Myth 
and History on the Bowery, and 156 
Rivington 



How did Mixed Greens start? 

Paige West and her brother 
Palmer West started Sibling 
Entertainment, a documentary 
and dramatic feature film pro- 
duction company, in 1998. 
Then a year later, Paige's pas- 
sion for emerging art and docu- 
mentaries, coupled with her 
frustration at the way in which 
young artists are so often mar- 
ginalized and co-opted, inspired her to start 
Mixed Greens. She wanted to build a 
company with a unique mission: to dis- 
cover, support, and promote emerging 
artists and filmmakers in a variety of ways, 
and through a variety of media. 

The driving philosophy behind Mixed 
Greens is ...? 

"Art is for everyone." We recognize that 
emerging artists and documentary film- 
makers are undervalued, and that public 
access to emerging art and documentary' 
films is limited We want art to be a part of 
people's lives, period. 

At what stage does Mixed Greens get 
involved in film/video projects? 

We get involved at all stages. We produce 
some of our projects completely in-house, 
from development through distribution. 
We have also co-produced projects based 
on our interest in a filmmaker's proposal. 
Then there have been projects that we 
only got involved with at the post-pro- 
duction phase. The degree or extent of 
our involvement varies, from hands-on to 
more as consultants, depending upon the 
nature of the agreement and the stage at 
which we get involved with the project. 

Explain funding cycles and deadlines. 

There are no fixed deadlines. At the very 
least, we will take on one new documen- 
tary every year and one new director 
ever^' year. 

Are there time frame restrictions with- 
in which the funds must be used? 

This is different with each project. All 




parties must sign off 

on a production schedule before funds are 

disbursed. 

Tell us about the review process. 

Our development department collects 
resumes, past work samples, current pro- 
posals, and trailers. After narrowing them 
down, we have two rounds of interviews. 
The final decision is made by the consen- 
sus of two or three people on the Mixed 
Greens staff. 

What distinguishes Mixed Greens from 
other production companies? 

Our emphasis is on fostering relationships 
with directors who are committed to and 
passionate about documentary filmmak- 
ing. One o( the greatest assets we possess 
is our cultural brain trust: the company, 
including our advisory board, is packed 
with people who have made art and film 
not only part of their lives, but integral to 
their li\-es. 

How do filmmakers submit to you? 

We will be accepting proposals and works 
in progress in early 2002. We usually ask 
for a resume, past work samples, project 
proposals, and a trailer. Please check our 
website for further details. 

What advice do you have for putting 
together a strong proposal? 

It should demonstrate that the director 
has access to a unique story, and plans to 
tell it in a unique way. The director 
should also show passion and commit- 
ment to the proposed project and to doc- 
umentary filmmaking. 



22 THE INDEPENDENT January/February 2002 



r;:7.;. 




Matt McBride (left) and his older brother Mark. 

PHOTO COURTESY FILMMAKER 



St. Louis: Film in the Center of America 

BY Shelley Gabert 

St. Louis is known for the Arch, the Cardinals, and Budweiser 
beer, but for a local newsman, it's a murder that has been holding 
his attention on the city for the past seven years. 

When Matt McBride, a paranoid schizophrenic, stabbed his par- 
ents to death on Sept 19, 1994, it was just another news story. But 
over the next several years as Art HoUiday, a reporter and anchor 
at NBC affiliate KSDK, watched the case change state law, he 
wanted to get deeper into the story. And so three years ago, he set 
out to make a full-length documentary that would take viewers to 

the front lines of mental ill- 
ness and beyond. 

Before They Fall Off the 
Cliff also tells of the enor- 
mous ripple effects of such 
events, as well as the 
changes the case brought to 
other severely mentally ill 
people. 

"The reason I got into 
journalism in the first place 
was to work with a camera. 
Still photography had been 
a hobby for years and I've 
always enjoyed writing. 
Everything I've done in my 25-year career has led to this point," 
HoUiday says. 

HoUiday initially worked on the project with a former co-worker 
and with archived footage. He also borrowed a camera to shoot 
some on his own. Eventually, though, he became frustrated with 
working around other people's schedules. 

"Here I was making this documentary, which I really believed in, 
but I didn't have control of it," he says. "I decided to take the 
plunge financially and emotionally and make the investment into 
equipment that would allow me to truly be in charge of making this 
documentary happen." 

A year ago, HoUiday bought a Canon XLl and shot more than 60 
percent of the documentary himself Jon King, an award-winning edi- 
tor at KSDK, who had edited some promotional traUers of the docu- 
mentary, became a partner in the project. They bought a Mac G4 
with an editing system, and the project took on its own momentum. 
The third partner was Mart's older brother, Mark McBride, who 
spearheaded the effort to pass what is now called the McBride Law, 
a statute that aUows police to involuntarily commit a severely men- 
tally Ul person for up to 180 days. 

Mark not only offered unlimited access to his family's story, but 
he also secured a rare opportunity for HoUiday to film inside the 
hospital where Matt is confined. HoUiday was the first broadcast 
journalist to interview Matt, and his two-part series on KSDK won 
an award from the Missouri Department of Mental Health. 

"Mark was the catalyst for this project," HoUiday says. "He want- 
ed to teU his family's story to help other people. This isn't just a doc- 
umentary for him, it's his life." 

Shelley Gabert is a freelance writer based in St. Louis. 



On the Mississippi 

What better place to debut 
Ken Burns' new documen- 
tary, Mark Twain, than at 
the 10th anniversary of the 
St. Louis Film Festival? The 
filmmaker was honored with 
a lifetime achievement 
award, and the film was dis- 
cussed during several spe- 
cial events over the course 
of the 10-day event in early 
November. 

The local flavor contin- 
ued wtih the Cinema St. 
Louis Award for Bob Gale, 
who grew up in University 
City, and was writer/produc- 
er of Used Cars, I Wanna 
Hold Your Hand, and the 
Back to the Future series. His 
directorial debut. Interstate 60, 
was also screened. 

This year the St. Louis 
Film office sponsored the 




first-ever St. Louis Film- 
maker's showcase, which 
featured 60 films by local 
filmmakers. The event 
included the premiere of 
Free City, a documentary on 
the St. Lunatics, the inter- 
nationally acclaimed hip- 
hop group featuring Nelly; 
Defiance, a full-length 
Western; and five short 
films made by high school 
students. — SG 



The Buzz in Town 

Lmng in St Louis is getting 
Silkwood producer Arthur 
"Buzz" Hirsch back to 
active filmmaking after a 
seven-year hiatus. 

Hirsch has been teaching 
creative producing, screen- 
writing and film apprecia- 
tion courses for six years as 
a full-time professor and 
advisor at Washington Uni- 
versity, and he finds that 
being outside the bubble of 
Hollywood is an opportuni- 
ty to find new voices. 

"I read tons of screen- 
plays, but they aU seem alike 
because they adhere to the 
studio formula," he says. 
"But here, I am privileged to 
work with the creme de la 
creme of talented young 
writers who write wonder- 
fully original screenplays." 

Hirsch was so excited 
about one of those screen- 
plays, written by a young 
MFA student from New 



York, that he plans to pro- 
duce it. He's currently rais- 
ing the funds. 

"Obviously, there are 
advantages to being in New 
York or L.A. when you're 
looking for a distribution 
deal, but there's no reason to 




PHOTO COURTESY FILMMAKER 



be there when you're doing 
an independent," he says. 

He adds, "Working out of 
St. Louis is no problem. 
There are even certain 
advantages to being in the 
Midwest. It's fertile territo- 
ry, it's not yet been mined. 
It's also a central base of 
operations. Being smack in 
the center of the country, 
it's very easy to travel to 
either coast." — SG 



January/February 2002 THE INDEPENDENT 23 




Mai Masri's new documentary, Frontiers 
of Dreams and Fears, opens by focusing on a 
O-year-old Palestinian girl named Mona 
who lives in a refiigee camp in Lebanon. She 
tells the camera that she always wanted to 
be a butterfly, but, after realizing that people 
catch them and put them in books, she 
decided she would rather be a bird so she 
can fly to her country. 

Shot in 2000, the film unfolds against 
the backdrop of the Israeli pull-out from 
southern Lebanon after 20 years of occu- 
pation and the start of renewed clashes 
between Palestinians and Israelis. The 
film goes on to explore the relationship 
among memory, dreams, and identity 
through the eyes of two teens living in 
refugee camps — Mona in Shatila near 
Beirut and Manar, a 14-year-old living in 
the Dheisha camp in Bethlehem, Israel. 
They develop a relationship through e- 
mail and letters and eventually meet at a 
fenced border crossing. 

Masri has garnered wide audiences 
internationally and has been funded many 
times by England's BBC and Channel 4 
for films like Children of Shatila and 
Suspended Dreams. But her films are not 
well-known in the United States because 
they seldom air on television. "On the 
other hand," Masri points out, "my films 
are shown as part of the curriculum in 
many universities across the U.S. where I 
am invited on lecture tours every year." 

Frontiers was produced by ITVS and so 
should have a better chance of making it 
at least to PBS. But that remains to be 
seen. The film didn't make it onto the 
national PBS schedule for spring, so ITVS 
is offering it on a station-by- station basis 
in February. Given the world situation, 
the film could be a hard sell. 

What keeps Masri's films off the air in 
America is a complicated mix of interna- 
tional politics and American television 
priorities. Two of her earlier films. 
Suspended Dreams and War Generation: 
Beirut were broadcast in the U.S. but, as 
she explains, "I think the reason they 



ended up being shown is because they 
don't deal with the Israeli-Palestinian 
conflict. None of my films that do deal 
with the conflict — even the ones on chil- 
dren — ever got broadcast in the States." 

Masri, 42, is based in Lebanon and 
comes at the topic from the point of view 
of an "insider." Though not from a refugee 
camp, she was raised in Beirut in a large 
Palestinian-American family and she has 
spent her 20-year filmmaking career doc- 
umenting the lives and struggles of 
Palestinians. 

She is so much an "insider" that during 




Frontiers of 
Dreams and Fears 



BY Holly 
Groves 



HUDSON- 



the filming of MAI MASRI 
Frontiers she 
was shot in the 
leg with a rub- 
b e r - c o a t e d 
steel bullet by 
an Israeli sol- 
dier. She was in 

harm's way because she wanted to catch 
the daily ritual of kids returning home 
from school and stopping to throw stones 
at an Israeli army check post on occupied 
territory. "I couldn't resist filming a little 
10-year-old boy carrying a slingshot and a 
little yellow water gun — he looked so 
childish in this dangerous game," she says. 
She could use this kind of detail in an 
inflammatory' way — especially her views 
on why she, in particular, was shot — but 
Masri explains that her main interest is in 
exploring the effect of war on children 
and not in political statements. That's 



why her films focus directly on a few char- 
acters and don't use any talking heads or 
voiceovers to explain the situations. "My 
films all focus on ordinary people living 
through extraordinary times and how they 
are able to cope and survive without los- 
ing their humanity," Masri says by phone 
from Beirut. "My relationship with the 
kids I'm filming is based on mutual trust. I 
am careful not to abuse that or take 
advantage of them or manipulate their 
words or images. It's harder to make films 
without narration but I feel it's important 
not to interfere." Masri has actually 

turned down 
many funding 
propositions 
by TV chan- 
nels that want 
to push her 
further. "They 
are interested 
in the sensa- 
tional scoops they could score through an 
insider Palestinian director," she says. 

That's not a game she wants to play, but 
nevertheless her films have a point of 
view. And Masri does believe that the 
American media's portrayal of Pal- 
estinians skews the reality of the lives of 
the \'ast majority, and that her films can 
help to right that image. She cites the 
recent example of CNN footage of 
Palestinians celebrating after the attacks 
on Sept. 1 1 . "It was shown repeatedly by 
CNN and several other western news sta- 
tions even though the Palestinians had 
nothing to do with the attacks," she says, 
adding that she believes this form of jour- 
nalism contributes to the ongoing dehu- 
manization of Palestinians. "We were not 
shown the images that were taken on the 
same day of Palestinians lining up to 
donate blood or marching in support of 
American victims." 

Masri will continue to screen Frontiers 
internationally throughout the year. She 
especially hopes she will reach audiences in 
America who will get a chance to see 
Palestinian children telling their own sto- 
ries. "These are just ordinary kids living in a 
ver>- difficult situation," she says. "What is 
unique is that they manage to laugh and 
love, that they haven't lost their humanity'." 

Holly Hudson-Groves is a freelance 
writer living in London. 



24 THE INDEPENDENT January/February 2002 




Like many filmmakers of his baby 
Boomer generation, Zacharias Kunuk grew 
up with an obsession for the movies. He 
sold wood carvings to earn enough for 
tickets to John Wayne westerns and 
Spencer Tracy romantic comedies, and he 
decided that he wanted to spend his life 
with a camera in his hand. 

That Kunuk grew up in a Canadian 
province that is actually north of the 
Arctic Circle — and that he was born in a 
sod house and lived a nomadic life with 
his family out on the ice until he was 
nine — only changes this story a little bit. 
He's just like any other low-budget film- 
maker. But yes, Kunuk must have been a 
little warmer than past recipients when 
his first feature, Atanarjuat: The Fast 
Runner, won the Camera d'Or in Cannes. 
And he had a few unusual challenges 
while shooting his film during the previ- 
ous summer, such as not being able to 
remove his 16mm camera from its snug 
blankets for more than a few minutes or 
the gears would freeze up. 

Kunuk describes Atanarjuat to "south- 
erners" as sort of like Star Trek, when the 
crew of the Enterprise lands on some 
remote planet not knowing what to 
expect and is often mystified by what it 
finds. The film is set in some unspecific 
time before the advent of Europeans, and 
the story comes from an Inuit legend 
about a community that is ripped apart by 
jealousy. The actors are all Inuit, some 
professional, some newcomers. And the 
landscape is thoroughly white — white, 
endless in scope, and beautiful. Kunuk's 



Zacharias Kunuk 

Atanarjuat: 
The Fast Runner 

BY Beth Pinsker 



power lies in the simplicity of the ele- 
ments. His characters never overwhelm 
their surroundings, and he doesn't lose 
the thread of the tension over the three 
hours of the movie. Most of all, Kunuk 
keeps the film dramatic and far from an 
anthropological study. 

Atanarjuat has had a powerful effect on 
audiences at film festivals, is Canada's 
entry into the foreign Oscar race, and will 
get a worldwide theatrical release. But 
none of that was Kunuk's intent. 

"When we went from the land to the 
settlement, all our culture was being lost, 
and storytelling is not practiced since TV 
came," Kunuk says, noting that his home- 
town of Igloolik voted to keep out TV 
until 1983 and now has cable with 42 
channels. "Everyone just wants to be 
glued to the TV, they are hardly visiting 
each other. That's when we said to our- 
selves, let's put our work on the screen. 
Profit didn't even come to our minds." 

Throughout his career, the 44-year-old 
has always been dedicated to building 
the media infrastructure in his communi- 
ty. And he had a lot to build before he 
could realize his dream of making the 
first all-Inuit feature, starting with bring- 
ing the first video camera home in 1981. 

"I bought a complete set — camera, 
Portopak, VCR, and 26-inch TV— and I 
had them shipped up here and put in my 
little house," he says from his home in 
Igloolik, in the Nunavut province, which 
is around 1,000 miles north of Toronto. He 
started out by making home movies, edit- 
ing them in a primitive way with the VCR. 



"Every time you point a camera 
at somebody, it tells the truth. I 
started working with Paul [Apak 
Angilirq, who died in 1998] and 
Norman [Cohn] and my buddies 
in the broadcasting corporation 
at the time, and we experiment- 
ed with the camera and a tech- 
nique where you don't have to be 
still with the camera to get your 
point across." 

The first efforts of the com- 
pany those men formed, called 
Igloolik Isuma, were short docu- 
mentaries for Canadian public 
television. Later, they did a 13- 
part dramatic series called 
Nunavut that was almost like a 
documentary. They decided it 
was time to do a feature. 

"We'd been working with TV for 15 
years, but it was hard for us at that time, 
in 1995. When we went through the 
funding process it was the first time we 
saw the problems with having aboriginal 
status," he says. He explains that 
Canadian public funding is divided into 
three categories — English, French, and 
aboriginal — and that the money is divided 
up according to population. "There was 
$1 million [Canadian] in our envelope, 
and the worst thing was, each project was 
capped at $100,000." 

To handle the production in Igloolik 
required way more than that — the final 
budget was almost $2 million (about 
$1.25 million U.S.). 

"We went for the English envelope. 
And yes, we got it. We fought like hell. It 
was dirty. It was the ugly side of trying to 
get your money. We're Canadian, we're 
taxpayers, we should be treated the 
same," he says. 

Kunuk's next project, a feature about 
missionaries coming to the northern terri- 
tories and what effect that had on the 
native shamanism, is going to have to wait 
a little while. Kunuk wants to follow 
Atanarjuat through to its end, and that 
means traveling to film festivals, doing 
interviews, and making appearances. And 
even though all he wants to do is spend 
the winter hunting, if he gets an Oscar 
nomination, come March, he'll trade rid- 
ing his Ski-doo across the tundra for 
cruising in a convertible down Santa 
Monica Boulevard. 



January/February 2002 THE INDEPENDENT 25 



njer (third from right) walked out of the jury 
^fet at the Locarno 2001 festival. 





The inexact science of 




F YOU READ ENOUGH ABOUT COMPETITIVE FILM 
festivals and year-end critics awards, you'd 
think that the prizes were devised to cause con- 
troversy rather than to award excellence. 

Of the 300 or so influential American and 
international festivals each year, about two- 
thirds of them are competitive in some way. 
Juries are drawn from a pool of film professionals that range from 
directors and actors to academics and journalists and are pulled 
together — often at the last moment for the smallest of festi- 
yals — and usually given little instruction. Sometimes they're 
offered travel, more often just a soda and a snack, and then 
they're asked to concur on the accomplishment of the films the 
festival has managed to attract. 

The critics awards emerge from the dozens of associations — 
international, national, regional, statewide, citywide, media 
genre — that sometimes just exist to hand out citations at the end 
of the year. Most of these groups consist of the same people who 
hand out festival awards. 

There's always a big fuss when schisms occur. (Look for the 
color photos with the tight smiles in the front section of 
Entertainment Weekly I) In its 50-plus years, Cannes has been the 
cause of much critical hullabaloo, consternation, and second- 
guessing. The festival itself, which began in 1946, was a response 
to alleged fixed judging at the 1934 Venice Film Festival. In the 
ensuing years, many of the Palmes d'Or prizes have gone to com- 
plex, yet almost universally recognized classics like Blowup, The 
Conversation, Taxi Driver, and Paris, Texas. Yet there are awards, 
say, to David Lynch's Lost Highway in 1997, that lead to booing 
and bitterness. 

Crash director David Cronenberg was jury president of 1999's 
Cannes Film Festival, and after that experience, he doubted he'd 
do it again. Like many filmmakers, he's reluctant to offer his 
opinion on the work of fellow professionals. While the Palme 
d'Or at that 1999 festival could have gone to any of 22 finalists, 
such as Lynch for The Straight Story or Atom Egoyan for Felicia's 
Journey, the Cronenberg jury went instead for the small, res- 



olutely European Rosetta, an uncompromisingly political drama 
about unemployment and economic exploitation by the Belgian 
brothers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne. 

While Cronenberg encouraged his jur^' to forget about making 
a statement, he was happy that the final choices did seem to 
make a statement. On several occasions, asked why he thought 
critics in certain countries were so up in arms over the elevation 
of a small, possibly timeless film, he would answer, "Because they 
all have friends in the business, they all have enemies in the busi- 
ness, and they all have national pride." 

At the Locarno International Film Festival in August 2001, 
juror Debra Winger walked out half^vay through the awards press 
conference when journalists kept asking her what the phrase 
"not unanimously" meant in the official press release in refer- 
ence to a particularly motley assembly of honorees, which 
included Maurizio Sciarra's Alia Rivoluzione Sulla Due Cavalli, 
Peter Sehr's Love the Hard Way, and John Singleton's Bad Boy. 

According to the Reuters wire service. Winger said her first 
time as a member of a six-woman, one-man jur\- — along with the 
likes of Janet Maslin — would likely be her last, after a marathon 
of bickering and compromise. While such terms ot disendear- 
ment make for good journalistic copy, journalists seldom know 
the true tick-tock of what goes on behind closed doors. It's not 
that participants are bound by vows of secrecy or that they don't 
have interesting tales to tell. What happens behind the scenes 
on festival juries is a real stor\', but it's one that almost no one 
wants to talk about — in case they ever want to be invited to 
serve again. 

What does this mean to the filmmaker in competition or \7ing 
for attention? While festival and critics awards have a great 
impact on a film's success and a filmmaker's career, they're 
impossible to control or predict because voting isn't exactly a sci- 
ence. Winning something largely depends on the jur^■ and the 
politics of the moment. 

By the time a jur\' convenes, the first, more frightening level 
of judgment has already taken place: getting past festival screen- 
ers arid, in some cases, into distribution. With the affordability of 



26 THE INDEPENDENT January/February 2002 



Ray Pride 




>tiva|<i^uries and critics awards 




digital video, even smaller festivals are being inundated with 
entrants. For instance, Slamdance, with fewer slots, receives a 
substantially higher number of entrants than Sundance. And 
Chicago Underground Film Festival director Bryan Wendorf 
reports a 30 percent increase in submissions in 2001; he confess- 
es to nightmares of suffocation under cascades of VHS tapes. 

While fees may help some festivals break even, the pool of 
screeners is as woefully finite as that of jurors. A female film- 
maker with several notable finished works, who has been on 
three juries and a couple of grants panels, elaborates on that fear. 
"I've profited very significantly from festivals, and have had very 
good times at them," she says, but concedes she "has extreme 
love -hate feelings for them. I think they're a racket, but a useful, 
potentially enjoyable one." 

While refusing to pass on several entertaining jury anecdotes, 
even not-for-attribution, she says, "I can relate though the 
strangeness of being at the house of someone who was a screen- 
er for a major international festival. He was watching tapes while 
making phone calls, writing emails, shutting some off in the first 
couple of minutes, and so on, and I was horrified — but knew I'd 
probably do the same thing. Of course I'd also arrogantly assume 
that a lot of people doing that task have shitty taste. And that's 
what sucks about festivals. I suspect that a lot of good work slips 
through the cracks." 

Her theories are elaborate, but she sums it up by saying, "The 
awarding process, however easy it is to make an argument 
against competition, has, in my experience, seemed generally 
more fair and logical than the programming process." 

But her theories assume a best-case scenario for the selection 
of jurors — and then the best possible behavior from those jurors 
on the scene of the film festival. Because there is a limited pool 
of truly qualified people, however, often festivals can't do any 
more than assemble a random mix of individuals and wait to see 
what happens. The juries must be filled; there are statues to be 
given out and checks to be written. So when all else fails, they 
cross their fingers and rely on the unwritten code of jurors to 
silence any juicy stories. 




N UNSCIENTIFIC SURVEY I TOOK IN CONVERSATION 
with almost 60 journalists and filmmakers 
revealed several repeated basics on the fes- 
tival jury circuit: "I can't go on the record. 
I can't go on the record at all"; "I was 
drunk"; "We were drunk"; "She must have 
been drunk"; "There was no disagreement"; "We only agreed on 
what (and whom) we hated, not anything we liked." A veteran 
Canadian programmer concedes, "I have been on a few juries. 
Mostly it's all an alcohol- tinged blur." 

One of the most telling of specific anecdotes I was offered 
comes from Jonathan Rosenbaum, critic of the Chicago Reader, 
festival regular, and jury member of more than a dozen stints, as 
well author of the recent prickly critic-critique. Movies Wars: 
How Hollywood and the Media Conspire to Limit What Films We 
Can See. While an incessant commentator on the politics and 
economics of all forms of film distribution, Rosenbaum recalls 
pulling a fast one on his friend, the Hungarian film director Bela 
Tarr, at the February 2001 Fajr film festival in Iran. 

"[Bela] tends to dislike almost everything on celluloid, and 
this made for a very long final jury session in which most nomi- 
nations by other jurors were objected to at length by him. Even 
though I agreed with many of his criticisms, I feared that we'd 
never end the meeting in time to do other things. I was especially 
keen to see the rough cut of Abbas Kiarostami's ABC Africa 
early that evening, and since I was coauthoring a book about 
Kiarostami at the time, it seemed like an urgent matter to me. So 
when Bela had to leave momentarily to go to the men's room, I 
proposed a kind of compromise package to the remainder of the 
jury while Bela was out of the room, and the proposal passed." 

Could the dyspeptic Hungarian forgive the American's cun- 
ning? "To Bela's credit, he forgave me for taking this extreme 
measure afterwards." 

I've had similar experiences myself as a festival juror. While 
working as a writer-producer of corporate video, I was invited by 
a competitive, international festival to judge an afternoon's 
worth of high-end, glossy, brain-dead promotional pieces for car 



January/FebruaiT 2002 THE INDEPENDENT 27 



( 



companies, airlines and food service companies, each twice as 
long and half as smart as they ought to be. We were encouraged 
to fill out detailed comment forms, and, emboldened by free 

cola, we did so with 
great relish. Every- 
thing stank. It's not 
that we were power- 
mad, nor envious of 
their higher budgets. 
The films and videos 
were, plain and sim- 
ple, rotten to the last. 
When we handed 
in our forms and our 
reluctant choices and 
the categories we 
chose not to salute, 
the organizer rolled 
her eyes and said, 
"Huh." The festival, 
she explained later, 
patiently, as if to a 
small child, was able 
to subsidize its regular 
competition by running 
a concurrent contest. 
This is also what's 
done in the advertis- 
ing business, where a 
$100 entry free pretty 
much guarantees you 
some sort o{ nod or 




Rosetta was the surprise winner of tiie 
Palme d'Or at Cannes in 1999, but tiie film 
made good use of the award. 



mention or attractive faux-papyrus scroll. 

My most enjoyable jury experience came when I was put 
together with a producer and a magazine editor on a jury, and we 
were asked to choose the best of a handful of films. Three of the 
six held no interest, to put it blandly, and I had concerns how the 
remaining three suited the prize we were giving. Our instructions 
consisted solely of the name of the prize: pick the best out of this 
category. After a weekend of movies and gorgeous weather, we 
gathered at a bar. The producer spoke my mind 
before I could: Can we just not even mention these 
three names again? We nodded, the first round 
came, and we started to evaluate the merits of the 
remaining three. By the time we turned to 
Cosmopolitans, we had a winner, and a toast to the 
winner. 



LMOST ANY OF THE OTHER STORIES 

that come out of jury deliberations 

sound like bad television movies 

about quiet killers; "I didn't know 

he was a madman until we were 

married!" Fellow jurors who seem kind, cool and 

collected often turn out otherwise. Most jurors 

recount a simple mission: pick the best of the litter. 




And remember, as Rosenbaum points out, "As a rule, discussion 
changes very few people's minds." 

Stephen Garrett, film editor of Time Out New York, makes his 
handful of experiences sound like a dream: "Everything went 
very smoothly and politely — no controversy or poUtics, just hon- 
est talk about what we felt were the best and most worthy films." 
Others who would comment seem just as disingenuous. Larry 
Fessenden, the New York-based director of Habit and the 
upcoming Wendigo, which premiered at Slamdance 2001, jokes, 
"The mere process of getting into festivals is mysterious to me, 
and filled with deep and sinister implications." 

David Gordon Green, whose George Washington received 
worldwide festival notice in 2000, won, among other nods, a 
Stockholm notice for Tim Orr's cinematography, a cash prize in 
Torino, and a Discovery Award in Toronto. Had he bothered to 
find out more about the awards? "I don't know how they pony it 
up. Really no insight or anything," he says, continuing, "I know 
that it feels cool to be recognized and liked. Maybe I'll be on a 
jury someday," he deadpans. 

Marina Zenovich's first documentary', Independent's Day, trac- 
ing the struggles and egos of Sundance and Slamdance entrants 
in 1996 and 1997, went to over 20 festivals. "It was never in any 
competition and I was never quite sure why. I guess because it 
was about filmmakers and their struggles at film festivals, so that 
somehow disqualified me from being in competition." Like many 
directors, she claims she doesn't believe in competition between 
filmmakers, but she concedes that "it was very exciting to be part 
of the competition with my second film, Who is Bernard Tapie?, 
at a festival in Oldenburg, Germany. Exciting because the 
thought of winning something after so much hard work is allur- 
ing. Then you lose and it's back to paying your bills and tr\'ing to 
raise money for the next one." So should we by cynical about 
juries? "Like a lot of things in life, film festival prizes are com- 
pletely subjective and up to the whim of whoever is in charge. I 
realized this when I was on the Slamdance selection committee 
and wanted to fight for a film 1 really liked. No one else really 
sparked to it and I realized that a film had to have a champion. 
No little videotape sitting there in a pile ot \'ideotapes is going to 
go anywhere unless one person picks it up, responds to it, and 
tries to talk other people into either seeing it and/or loving it." 




David Gordon Green s 
George Washington 
won a slew of festival 
awards, but he doesn't 
know why. 



28 THE INDEPENDENT January/February 2002 




But, she continues, "Prizes help a lot in terms of marketing a film 
but they are not everything." 

Mark Ebner, a freelance journalist known for enjoying a bat- 
tle, relates this story: "I was a juror for the second Slamdance 
festival in 1996, representing Spy magazine. Film critic Paul 
CuUum was on board from Film Threat, and we were joined by a 
guy whose name and credentials escape me and a woman from 
the Utah Arts Council whom I never met. At the time 
Slamdance was housed and presented entirely in the cramped 
Yarrow hotel in Park City, and I remember the accommodations 
they provided consisted of floor space between two beds occu- 
pied by a gang of foreign documentary filmmakers and their 
equipment. 

"When we realized we needed a fifth juror in case of a tie vote, 
we drafted the projectionist because he was the only other per- 
son we knew of who might have seen all the films. Though 
favored to win. Marc Forster's Loungers was defeated by Greg 
Mottola's crowd-pleasing The Daytrippers for the Grand Jury 
Prize, and another contender, Daniel J. Harris' The Bible and Gun 



ecause there is a limited pool of truly qualified 
people, often festivals can't do any more than 
assemble a random mix of individuals and wait and see 
what happens. The juries must be filled; there are 
statues to be given out and checks to be written. So 
when ail else fails^ they cross their fingers and rely on 
the unwritten code of jurors to silence any juicy stories. 



Club, was disqualified because the director got pissed off about 
something and ran home with his video screener before any of us 
got to see his film. The projectionist juror pissed us all off 
because his vote for a film about agoraphobia skewed the results 
and gave that study in ennui an Honorable Mention, or runner- 
up prize." 

Scott Saunders, a New York-based independent filmmaker 
with two features and over 20 shorts to his credit, is also 
familiar with the festival circuit. His last feature. The 
Headhunter's Sister, enabled him, as it does many other film- 
makers who are eventually unable to secure North American 
distribution, the good fortune to spend several months mak- 
ing the Hospitahty Death March across Europe, while jobs 
and future projects languish back home. He's served on a 
number of juries as well. 



"Once, I was on a jury with an American curator from a major 
American museum," Saunders recalls. "She and I became friends 
and hung out for the festival, and we generally were in agree- 
ment about the films we were seeing. Our third member, from 
France, stayed by himself for the most part, so we had no idea 
how he was reacting to the films. When it came time to deliber- 
ate, the French guy announced that he had hated all the films. 
They were all American, so, of course he hated them. 

"Strangely, he decided that the best film was a frivolous little 
romantic fantasy that was about nothing and went nowhere. He 
said it was 'inventive,' but the curator and I thought that the 
only thing that could be said for it was that it was fairly well shot. 
The film I championed was distinctively and elegantly shot, was 
a well-told and unusual story, was strange and provocative, 
funny and disturbing. It was far and away the best film and the 
curator and I were in total agreement. The French guy hated the 
film, though, so we ended up getting into a protracted and frus- 
trating deadlock. Finally, the curator and I simply decided that 
the majority would carry the day, so we had our way. The French 

guy was very unhappy, so we 
gave his film an honorable 
mention. He was hardly paci- 
fied." 

Ben Berkowitz, whose ver- 
ite-style 16mm feature debut, 
Straightman, premiered at the 
2000 Chicago Underground 
Film Festival, was invited to 
sit on its jury in 2001. As with 
most festivals, Berkowitz said 
there were few rules. "One 
jury member kept saying he 
knew all the filmmakers and 
he couldn't judge. I wanted 
to ask him why the fuck are 
you here then?" 

But overall, he says, "The 
choices reflected the taste of 
the people and were very dif- 
ferent so what happens is the 
films that get picked are the 
films you agree on. It's strange 
how most people's favorite film is someone else's least favorite, 
the things that make people love or hate films being the same. 
So you vote for middle-of-the-road, safe films like political can- 
didates." Did he know this going in? "I didn't belong there, 
because I am a bitter filmmaker who didn't win anything last 
year. It was like a horror movie where the kid they picked on gets 
revenge on his peers." 

So is he a changed man, a chastened critic, a better filmmak- 
er now? "I now realize all my fantasies about juries being incom- 
petent losers are true, because I was on one." 



Ray Pride is film editor of Chicago's weekly Newcity and 

a regular contributor on movies to indieWlRE and 

over a dozen other publications. 



January/February 2002 THE INDEPENDENT 29 



ivEN India's bustling commercial film 
industry, it's not surprising to hear of 
an Indian film that's like a cross 
between Father of the Bride and The 
Wedding Planner. And based on past 
experience, it's also not earth shatter- 
ing to learn that Mira Nair's new film is 
likely to cause some controversy with its 
depiction of sexual mores and Indian class 
structure. But how did Nair's Monsoon Wedding 
manage to be both of these things at once? 

On the surface, the film, which won the Golden Lion at the 



Rowlands, is, as she puts it, "good down- and- dirty stuff." 

But first there's Monsoon Wedding. It has been six years since 
Nair's last theatrical feature, Kama Sutra, and for her return she 
decided to go back to India for what she thought would be a low- 
key, low-budget production. The story, however, turned out dif- 
ferently. 



The iNDEPENDENIi You filmed most of Monsoon Wedding in a 
friend's home in India. Did your friend know what to expect? 
Nair: I really, genuinely conceived of it as a family flick. 
Nothing big. But it was not. It was ridiculous — 68 actors — and 



iS/Iira ISTaiir tallcs about: tlrLe com.im.g TSA^orxsoorr 

BY Beth Pinsker 




Venice Film Festival, is a lively tale of a family wedding. The 
bride has jitters, the father is worried about spending too much 
money, the mother wants everything to be perfect, the younger 
brother feels left out, the extended family is loud and meddle- 
some, and the wedding planner is a flamboyant schemer with a 
good heart. 

Of course, Nair is making a social statement here, too, as she 
does in all of her work whether feature or documentary', Indian 
or American. The 44-year-old filmmaker, who splits her time 
between Manhattan and India, has always been interested in the 
relationship between individuals and society, especially across 
cultures and classes. Her first major film, Salaam Bombay, was so 
real in its depiction of street life that it was almost a documen- 
tary. Her work in the early 1990s, Mississippi Masala and The 
Perez Family, dealt with American attitudes toward race and eth- 
nicity. Kama Sutra: A Tale of Love jumped deep into the fray of 
Indian sexual politics — enough so the film was banned there. 
Nair says the film she's shooting now — in lovely Bayonne, N.J. — 
will mix Bollywood bleakness with American nostalgia for the 
1980s and will premiere at Sundance. Hysterical Blindness, an 
HBO original with Uma Thurman, Juliette Lewis, and Gena 



we just picked 30 days out of a hat to shoot it in. While I was 
casting and seeing hundreds of actors, I realized that this is just 
like any other thing. Except for some reason, I picked a low bud- 
get and a \-er\' lean way of working. 

Did you ever decide why you did that? 

I like the liberation of it. It was not goal-oriented. It was a fairly 
egoless journey of trying to make film that was free, that had dis- 
cover^' at the heart of it. When you tell yourself the stakes are 
nothing — low, or whate\'er, just personal — beauty- can emerge. 

Did you have time for rehearsals with such a large cast? 

It was highly organized on our part because we had to do a lot in 
ver\' little time. We did two weeks of workshops with all the 
actors before shootings The third week, I took all the actors to 
the set, which was dressed, and we blocked and choreographed 
ex'en'thing. We often had to do eight scenes a day. We had to 
know exactly what we were doing both in front of and behind 
the camera. It enabled us to approach everything in a disciplined 
way, but also in a spirit of freedom. We knew what we were going 
to do, but within that parameter, we could be free. 



30 THE INDEPENDENT January/February 2002 



But even though you were keeping to a low budget, you 
didn't shoot in digital... 

It was entirely handheld 16mm that we then blew up to 35mm. 
It was initially conceived as digital. When I was doing research 
with a digital camera in real weddings, I discovered that the 
stock did not really capture the opulence and darkness of the 
jewels and saris and nightlife. It's just not ready yet for that. 
Because it was such a big set-up, I didn't want to do all this work 
and then have an image that didn't do it justice. Lastly, the post- 
production process with digital is just a mess in itself. It's almost 
more expensive than film. 



How exact was the film in depicting Indian wed- 
dings and the famly tumult? 

Indian weddings — Punjabi and upper middle class 
weddings — these things are very bourgeois in an opu- 
lent way. With our budget, the way to do this was to 
cast real people, to use real saris, jewelry, paintings, 
everything from the family and friends of the family, 
from the cars that they drove, even to the boxer 
shorts. My brother is a garment exporter just like the 
father of the bride, Lalit (Naseeruddin Shah), in the 
movie, and he makes boxers for J. Crew and Gap. 

Was your family worried that you were looking at 
their lives and making a social statement? 

No. I'm from within. They were very much with me 
on it. My brother would come into my bedroom in the 
morning and give me a few good lines or choice curs- 
es, which we would rapidly put in the script. There 
were some hilarious things. It was very much about 
osmosis. The best idea was always going to win. It was 
quite extraordinary and also extraordinarily difficult 
at the same time, just on the logistic level of shooting 
in the heat and the monsoon alone. 



It seems like it's pouring throughout the movie. How did you 
deal with all of that rain? 

I really wanted to capture the city in the rain. In our initial bud- 
get, we only had the [natural] rain that we shot in. The only rain 
that we bought was for the climax, the big wedding scene. But 
when we returned to New York after shooting, we discovered 
that we lost 300 minutes of exposed film to x-ray damage. It was 
an absolute tragedy. It happens once in a freaky million times. 
We filed an insurance claim that was bigger than the budget of 
film, because the film was so lean. 

One of the scenes was the biggest scene, on the night before 
the wedding when there is a dance with 300 extras. That we 
couldn't reshoot; it had to be digitally restored — at a cost close 
to shooting the entire picture. 

The other three scenes that were damaged, we had to go back 
to India to reshoot. The good news was that when we got back, 
after many sagas, we could afford to buy rain, and I put rain in 
those scenes. So it now looks like we were in a real monsoon, 
rather than an independent feature that could only afford one 
day of rain. It's one of those arduous journeys that does have 
happy endings. 



While most people know you for your feature films, you have 
a long history in documentary. Your film before Monsoon 
Wedding was a documentary for HBO, The Laughing Club of 
India. What made you want to do that? 

It's not a careerist thought at all, it's just where the heart takes 
me. Laughing Club I made after 15 years of not making docs. 
There's no hard-and-fast rule of "I'm closed to this or open to 
that." It's just if there's some subject that grabs me, like laughter 
did. The point was to make an absurdist film on the power of 
laughter. I responded to that and it didn't let me go. That's a 
good principle of making any film. 



The bride in all her 
glory (below) and the 
parents of the bride 
in all their worry 
(left). 




We took three weeks out and made that film. It was exactly 
like I wanted to do, but I didn't know if it was possible. As life is, 
it was hugely influential in leading me to Monsoon Wedding. Just 
the shooting of that film, the cutting of it — the montage aspect, 
going into characters and then songs and then the city and then 
back to the character — inspires a lot of Monsoon Wedding. It's 
not about career or stepping stones or anything like that. If you 
follow your heart, one thing will lead to another thing. 
Otherwise I would never have made Monsoon Wedding. 

Has documentary influenced your other fiction work? 

Not in as literal a way, but in other, deeper ways. It influences me 
in the fact that making documentaries really inspired me in try- 
ing to capture the extraordinariness of ordinary life and in 
respecting the texture of life and the inexplicability of life. When 
you are lucky enough to capture that in documentary, it really 
taught me what is meant when they say truth is stranger than fic- 
tion. I like to preserve that aspect of inexplicability in fiction 
films. It's harder to do, obviously, when you're setting up the 
whole thing. But it's possible to do in certain kinds of fiction. 
Also with documentary, respecting and having a sort of humility 
about people is a great foundation for keeping one humble. 



January/February 2002 THE INDEPENDENT 31 



It's often reported that you worked with Richard 
Leacock and D.A. Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus in 
your early career. What exactly was your interaction 
with them? 

I took a course with Ricky at MIT, when I was at Harvard. 
It was basic cinema verite production. Pennebaker never 
taught there. I did this summer course with him at 
Hampshire College. Finally I met him properly after I grad- 
uated in 1979, and very soon after I ended up renting an 
editing room from him where I cut my first two docs — So 
Far from India and India Cabaret. I ended up being in their 
family space for almost two years. He's like a talisman of 
truth and reality for me. When you make fiction in and out 
of Hollywood, it's nice to see them again, and go back to 
what it really is, why you are making movies. The minute 
I finished Laughing Club, I showed it to them. They showed 
me their dot-com movie [Startup.com], and I remember 
feeling that day that all was right with the world. It's real- 
ly amazing that these people exist, and it's great to aspire 
for things that don't necessarily get into magazines and all that 
stuff. They are good people. 

It seems like you've incorporated some of their philosophy 
into your work. 

I'm very into that. There is a kind of company aspect that I real- 
ly love. There's a sense of community, too, which God knows we 
should have, and long to have, but it's hard to have in film. 

How do you think Indian audiences will respond to that sort 
of underlying message in Monsoon Wedding^ 

We don't know. It's a very unusual film for Indian mainstream 
audiences. On one level it is conventional, given the emotions in 
it, and the family is extremely identifiable. It does what Indian 
movies do, which is make you laugh, cry, and dance. But it was 
made very unconventionally. There is enormous national pride 
in the Golden Lion [which the film won at the 2001 Venice Film 
Festival in August], and there's been an enormous, unstoppable 
media bUtz since then. So there's a lot of expectation, and we 
have very great distributors and they are kind ot mainstreaming 
the advertisements. They are very hopeful. 

You're used to getting a lot of attention in India. 

This is a different sort of attention. 

Will the depiction of class cause controversy? 

What this is, is a real portrait ot right-now India. For the first 
time you can transcend class with money. Only since India has 
gone global, can a guy like Dubai [the film's wedding planner], 
who is a working class lackey, become a minor merchant — an 
event manager as he calls himself These are kind of newfangled 
notions, but they are real in that he can actually make the 
money, have the cell phones, and all the gadgets. This is the new 
India that we wanted to show. 

The other part that is quintessentially Indian — which I don't 
think is just Indian — is the unbelievably seamless coexistence ot 
classes. This is how we live. It's really amazing. This is what's dif- 
ferent from living, say, in South Africa, where I also lived. There, 




For Monsoon Wedding, the family is happy, at least in the pictures. 



the mansion is in one neighborhood, and the slum is in the 
township. In India, the slum would be right outside the mansion. 
You have to negotiate that or close your eyes to it, or whatever 
you want to do with it. I grew up that way, where it is totally 
coexistent. I've really been affected by that all my life. 

Another interesting thing is the amorality that's going down. 
That part was even startling to me. The girl sleeping with her 
lover the night before the v\'edding. It's totally normal; it's what's 
happening. But just to actually speak of a well-brought up, fairly 
traditional bourgeois girl who has this life.' Sabrina Dhawan, :he 
vNTiter, is 10 years younger than me and is more in touch with this 
crowd than I am. She really knew what that single-woman world 
was like. I remember when we tirst started uncovering all of this, 
she told me normal stories and I was pretty shocked myself I 
didn't realize that we'd gone Gucci and Prada on the outside, 
and there was also something going on in the inside. 

A lot of journalists at the Toronto Film Festival were watch- 
ing Mo7X5oo7i Wedding on Sept. 1 1 right at the moment the 
plane hit. Then your premiere party that day was cancelled. 
What were you thinking? 

It's a strange coincidence. Ebert said it was my last moment of 
happiness. We had elephants and horses, live drummers from 
Punjab, and 70 dancers. I didn't even blink an eyelid; there was 
no question ot having the premiere part^'. We did e\'er>'thing the 
next day. 

Everything has a new context now. When Monsoon Wedding 
comes out in the U.S. in the late winter, are you worried that 
news events might reflect in some way on your release? 

I take e\-erything one step at a time. We just ha\e to do our best, 
and the rest will take over. It we must push that point, then I 
think the way the film is working on people is that e\-erN-body 
tells me it's just like their family. And these are people who come 
trom Iceland and Israel and Southern California. Just tor that 
fact alone, if it was linked with the news inextricably in Januarv' 
or February', then it probably would help. With its uni\-ersalit^' it 
could help neutralize what America is \'er^- good at doing — 
demonizing the other. 



32 THE INDEPENDENT January/February 2002 




Pick of the Pans I 4 

A Dream DIY System: DV to DVD | 6 

Ask the Final Cut Pro | 9 

Cool "Clothes" for Your Camera 1 10 

Cheap Treats 1 14 



FORGET THE JONESES 









UJ 

■J 

lU 



For years there have been two primary analog 
TV standards worldwide. Now, with DTV. there are over 
18 digital delivery standards. Only film is compatible 
with every single one of them. And if history is a teacher, 
you can bet that these too will be superseded by 
tomorrow's new standards. The one sure way to 
protect your investment is to originate on film. No other 
medium has kept pace with broadcast changes quite 
like it. So your program can live happily ever after 
in syndication, well into the future. Which should 
please everyone — including the Joneses. 




e 



11 

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4- 



visit www.kodak.com go story 



there's more to the story 






Digitally Essential 



by Greg Lindsay 



There's a consensus among digital filmmakers that the 
obsession with gadgetry is over. It's okay now to drop the 
"digital" when describing "digital films" and go back to sim- 
ply working. Our timing is perfect, then, for a practical guide to 
digital filmmaking, filled out with advice and all the things a 
filmmaker needs to master the digital world. 

As more and more filmmakers have experimented with and 
acquired a better feel for digital technologies and their quirks, the 
digital vs. celluloid religious debates have faded into the back- 
ground. Digital tools are seen as just that — another set of options 
for filmmakers that in this case contain inherent advantages of 
cost and speed and size, and usually a solid disadvantage when 
comparing digital images with 35mm film. I say "usually" because 
the technical wizards at Sony and Panavision have managed to 
surmount even that obstacle with their "24P" high-definition cam- 
eras. These capture images at 24 frames per second (unlike any 
other digital cameras) and approximate the fidelity of film. 

Mostly, these cameras have been used by the likes of 
George Lucas and Wim Wenders, and their size — both physi- 
cally and in terms of the image data they produce — wipe out 
many of the advantages that are so appeaHng to low-budget film- 
makers and documentarians. But that's all changing now. Still, 
it's not 24P or even Digibeta that most filmmakers are after 
(both require the post-production resources of film) but the 
semi-miraculous camcorders that use the miniDV or DV CAM 
formats and that are likely the reason you're skimming this 
guide in the first place. 

"Prosumer" cameras like Sony's PD-150 and VX-2000 and 
Canon's XLi have fired the imaginations of filmmakers and 
have become something everyone starting a new production has 
to consider. While each weighs less than 10 pounds, records to 
tapes 40 to 60 minutes long, and includes manual exposure 
control and professional microphone outputs, they also cost less 
than $5,000 each. The result is that low-budget films suddenly 
have versatile cameras in their price range, while those with 
larger budgets can stock up on them like candy. Which is what 
Dogme 95 auteur Lars Von Trier did with Bjork in his Cannes 
Palme d'Or-winning Dancer in the. Dark. He recorded her musi- 
cal numbers with a hundred Sony PD-ioos hidden on the set, 
yielding angles and footage otherwise impossible with a single 
camera of any type. 

Hidden cameras also played into the documentary-like 
feature Fuckland, in which Argentinian filmmaker Jose Luis 
Marques smuggled a digital camera and an actress into the 
British-controlled Falkland Islands. Attaching a wide-angle lens 
to the camera and then attaching the camera to himself. Mar- 
ques cast himself as a man out to nurture a new generation of 



The Independent Film & Video Monthly (ISSN 0731-5198) is published monthly except 
February and September by the Foundation for Independent Video and Film (FIVF), a 
tax-exempt educational foundation dedicated to the advancement of media arts and 
artists. Subscription to the magazine is included in annual membership dues ($55/yr in- 
dividual; $35/yr student; $ioo/yr nonprofit/school; $i5o/yr business/industry) paid to 
the Association of Independent Video and Filmmakers (AIVF), the national professional 
association of individuals involved in independent film and video. Library subscriptions 
are $75/yr. Contact: AIVF; 304 Hudson St., 6 fl., NY, NY 10013, (212) 807 1400; fax: (212) 
463 8519; independent@aivforg; vww.aivforg. Printed in the USA by Cadmus Journal 
Services. © 2002 FIVF. 



Argentines in the Falklands — by impregnating local women. 
The camera he used, a SonyTRV-900, was easily concealed, but 
is still large compared to tiny cameras like the Sony PC-5 (which 
weighs less than a pound) or Canon Elura2, both of which can 
capture crisp video and still fit in a jacket pocket. 

As exhilarating as this has been for converted directors, by 
all accounts the actors love it too. In Sam the Man, a low-budget 
digital feature directed by InDigEnt founder Gary Winick, the 
lightweight camera made it possible for Winick to film in a ho- 
tel room (without management's knowledge) and shoot an inti- 
mate scene of two actors sitting at a table with just room lighting 
and very little crew. Thanks to 60 minute DV tapes, he was able 
to shoot in long takes that let his actors improvise, stop and start 
over, and otherwise explore characterization without him having 
to break offtakes to tweak the camera. He was also able to pack 
up and quietly leave afterward. 

The sudden impact of this mobility has been felt perhaps 
more acutely among editors, who, thanks to the computer in- 
put/output format IEEE-1394 (a.k.a. FireWire or i.Link), can 
now import and start playing with footage immediately after a 
wrap if they choose. And thanks to a new generation of desktop 
editing and compositing programs like Apple's Final Cut Pro or 
Adobe's After Effects, they can execute the kinds of edits and 
special effects on a laptop that 10 years ago would have required 
proprietary systems like an Avid or Flame. 

Journalists and documentarians are using their newfound 
freedom to edit and file footage while still on location, even in 
the most remote locales. MSNBC.com reporter Preston 
Mendenhall began regularly filing reports from the capital of 
Pakistan after the tragic events of Sept. 11, shooting with a Pana- 
sonic camera, editing and compressing footage for the Web on 
his laptop, and uploading it to servers across the globe using a 
satellite phone. He was also able to fit all of this equipment into 
a single bag that weighed just 15 pounds. 

These are just the technical possibilities. What can be done 
artistically largely remains to be seen — filmmakers have been so 
worried about nailing the nuts and bolts that explorations in 
color or narrative have been virtually nonexistent. But that's al- 
ready started changing thanks to films like Dancer in the Dark or 
Timecode, Mike Figgis' experiment with shooting an entire 
movie in one take. Figgis shot with four cameras, using 90- 
minute tapes, and eventually put the four images on the screen 
simultaneously, using sound cues to guide the audience's eyes. 
His new movie, Hotel, mixes digital footage with film and again 
uses some split-screen storytelling, but Figgis is applying digital 
solutions to his production as well. He created the stills book for 
his film himself, exporting frames straight from the footage into 
Photoshop, where he proceeded to tweak his movie color palette 
at his convenience and to his delight. 

That's just the beginning, and Figgis, Wenders, and their 
ilk know it. Wenders in particular is militant about harnessing 
these tools as soon as possible, or else, he fears, they will use 
you. "We can feed film into computers so that it becomes im- 
material information, of which every bit, every single atom, can 
be worked at, manipulated, changed, and replaced," he told a 
conference of college-aged filmmakers last winter. "Then we can 
output the result back to film, as if nothing ever happened. But 
we have not changed all the storytelling tools around. We're still 
toying around with a new nuclear technology of images without 
a clue, really, where it is taking us." 

This guide is meant to be the compass for that trip. 

Greg Lindsay is a freelance writer covering technology and 
business. 



O 

o 



JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2002 | THE INDEPENDENT 3 



Pick of the Pans 



by Beth Pinsker 



IN THOSE OLD-FASHIONED DAYS of 35mm film, the names 
of the movie cameras — the Ariflex, Panavision, or even the 
Krasnogorsk — had a ring to them, and could bring forth lush 
associations. Today's digital camera model names have all the lilt 
of bar codes. 

From the H DW-F900 to the AJ-PD900A to the GY-DV500 to 
even the reasonable-sounding PD-1 50 or the XLl , it's almost im- 
possible to bring some sort of non-binary image to mind. To add 
to the confusion, the technology is developing so rapidly that 
most of the cameras on the market 1 8 months ago are now ob- 
solete — like the Sony PD-1 00 or the Canon XLl — so it's hard for 
filmmakers and cinematographers to bond wth their machinery 
the w/ay their counterparts have done for the past century. 

Yet the filmmakers who have braved the array of today's dig- 
ital camera models were able to make a selection — although 
sometimes they worked with several different cameras at once 
because the costs were low enough. How did they make the de- 
cisions? How do they rate their experiences? The Independent 
tracked down several to go through the thought process. 



Lovely AND Amazing, on the Sony HDW-F900 

Digital video, especially the gold-standard of shooting on the 
high definition Sony CineAlta system at 24 frames per second, 
was not at all on the mind of director Nicole Holofcener when 
she was developing her second feature, Lovely and Amazing, 
which will be released by Lions Gate in the spring. The film was 
supposed to stand out as a sharp family drama starring Cather- 
ine Keener and Brenda Blethyn, Hke her Walking and Talking 
stood out as a witty romantic comedy in 1996. 

But, she says, "I had no choice. The financers said we'll give 
you money to shoot your film if you shoot it on digital video." 
Blow-up Pictures, the digital arm of Open City Films, produced 
the film in association with Good Machine, and digital was their 
hook to getting the million dollars to proceed. 

The decision to go with the Sony high-def system was made 
because it was suddenly affordable and available, and because 
Holofcener's main goal was to make the experience as close to 
shooting on film as she could. 

"I watched a lot of films and tests at the beginning. I inter- 
viewed a lot of DPs. All we wanted to do is see how much we could 
make it look like film," she says. "Some shots look more like video 
than others, but I think we pretty much accomplished that." 

On the other hand, she says that although there were some 
advantages to HD on the post-production side in terms of color 
correction, it took just as long to light 
and required the same size crew as a 
35mm production. So Holofcener 
doesn't think they experienced any 
cost savings, and if she had the choice 
down the road, she'd go back to shoot- 
ing on 35mm. If she didn't have the 
choice, however, she wouldn't com- 
plain about any digital format. "I'd do 
it again in a second," she says. "I'd 
take any medium if I could get it." 

Sony HDW-F900 
(www.sony.com) | $99,500 

4 THE INDEPENDENT I JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2 002 



Edceplay: a Film About the Runaways, 
ON THE Canon XLl 

Victory Tischler-Blue, known as Vicki Blue when she was a 
teenage girl rocker in the Runaways with Joan Jett and Lita Ford, 
didn't know anything about digital video two years ago when she 
started to work on a documentary about the strange, sad days of 
her band. In fact, while she had directed for television and ed- 
ited, she had never handled a film camera herself. But now she's 
her own cinematographer and editor, and she's special-ordering 
lenses and beta testing cameras for Canon. 

"When you're doing a low- to no-budget production, people 
don't show up, or they show up stoned, or they claim they own the 
footage. Every weird thing that could happen, did happen," she 
says. "I learned how to do everything myself" 



Vicki Blue being filmed, 
and the Canon XLi 




Tischler-Blue says she would never have been able to teach 
herself the basics of a standard 35mm camera — shutter speeds, 
irises, and so forth — so being able to point and shoot with the 
XLi was her savior for getting the film off the ground, especially 
when nobody would take her seriously enough to finance the 
project. Even her former bandmates had a little trouble with see- 
ing Tischler-Blue in the director's chair, since she had not been 
in a power position in her days with the Runaways. 

"I joined the band as a replacement. And now it's 25 years 
later and it was a really weird power shift," she says, adding, "It 
was the ultimate power shift. It was fun." 

The particular advantage of XLi, she says, was its handheld 
ease. Although she was shooting mostiy interviews — inter- 
spersed with old 8mm footage of the band — they weren't all tra- 
ditional talking head spots. She used a Sony DSR-200 on a 
tripod and moved around with the XLi. Of the lenses she had 
built for the camera, her favorite was a wide-angle fisheye 
adapter. Her other innovation was to run generations of the tape 
over and over to make it look more grainy. 

"Anybody can do this, anybody can make footage 
look good," she says. "If you like a grung)' look, no prob- 
lem. If you want an arty thing, you can manipulate the 
format." 

Canon XL1 (www.canon.com) | $4,500 (for XL1s) 




Nicole Holofcener (left) and 
the Sony HDW-Fgoo 




Billy Corben and Alfred Spellman 
(top); the JVC DV-500 (above) 



Raw Deal, on the 
JVC CY-DV500 

Price was definitely an object when 
producer Alfred Spellman and direc- 
tor Billy Corben were wondering 
what kind of camera to use for Raw 
Deal: A Question of Consent, a docu- 
mentary about the alleged 
rape of an exotic dancer at a 
frat house in Florida. 

For shooting a docu- 
mentary, they thought Su- 
per 16 was too pricey. "But 
we were still questioning: Digibeta 
or DV?" Spellman says. "We tested 
a bunch and what we found was 

that between the quality and the price, the JVC camera was the 
top of the mid-range selection, what they call prosumer." 

Spellman also says that it was important that they got to 
own a piece of equipment and could amortize it over the course 
of several projects. Although by the time they get Raw Deal to 
theaters in February through Artisan and start working on an- 
other project, the camera could well be out of date. 

The biggest problem they faced at first was the urge to take 
the camera out of the box and start shooting. They hired a cine- 
matographer, Lawrence Janus, and set out a plan to light and 
compose shots. They ended up spending as much time in 
preparation as they would have shooting on film. 

But the savings on film stock alone, says Spellman, added 
up to several thousand dollars. They bought a Final Cut Pro 
package upfront, and he says shooting on DV allowed them to 
segue into the editing process with ease. Plus they saved more 
money by not renting out an Avid suite and working on a tick- 
ing meter. 

"We went from the camera through FireWire to the Mac, 
then back out. We projected on HD at Sundance. So this whole 
time, the film hasn't lefl: the digital realm," he says. 

JVC GY-DV500 (www.jvc.com) | $7,600 

Tortilla Soup, 

ON A PANASONrC 

AJ-PD900WA 

The camera choice for 
Tortilla Soup, which is a 
remake of Ang Lee's Eat 
Drink Man Woman from 
a Hispanic perspective, 
was all about food. 

"We wanted it to be 
really intimate, human, 
with a strong food ele- 
ment that was sensual 
and colorful," says producer John Manulis. The Panasonic AJ- 
PD900WA camera his team chose is a 480P, which is a pro- 
gressive scan system that falls between HD and regular DV. 
While that's all very technical, the shorthand that Manulis has 
is: "It's very warm and friendly. There are no hard edges and you 
don't get that crystal effect that you get with HD." 

While Manulis' Los Angeles-based company. Vision Box, is 
ostensibly a production house that specializes in digital features 
and post-production services, this particular film originated 




Tortilla Soup's cmematographer Xavier Perez 
Grobet with the AJ-PDgooWA 



from within. Manulis was formerly the head of 
filmed entertainment at Goldwyn, which owns 
the rights to Eat Drink Man Woman and 
brought him on to produce the remake (with 
Spanish director Maria Ripoll). Manuhs and his 
crew did the camera tests and the other prepa- 
ration work for the production, and supervised 
the postproduction. 

Manulis doesn't use the Panasonic 480P 
camera for all of Visionbox's clients. On the 
contrary, his goal is to use the best system for 
each film. Some projects benefit from the handheld aesthetic of 
the Canon XLi, some from the intimacy of the Sony PD-150. 
Overall, he sees the benefit of DV as getting exactly what you 
need, seeing immediately what you have, and allowing more in- 
teraction between the actors and director. But he says that none 
of that comes from any particular camera or manufacturer. 

"When the technology settles down a little and becomes 
more regular, then maybe people will develop an allegiance," he 
says. "But for now, the cool thing is that there's a whole new tool 
in the kit. And the camera is part of the story, because it gives 
you this whole other permutation." 

Panasonic AJ-PD900WA (www.panasonic.com) | $40,000 

Tape, on a 
Sony PD-150 

Most people don't think 
of Richard Linklater as a 
traditionalist. But he has 
never been very inter- 
ested in DV, even after 
shooting his last two fea- 
tures with a Sony PD-150. 
"I can't wait to have an 
Ari or Panavision again. 
I'm just not one of those 
people who think every- 
thing can be shot digital," 
he says. 

The first of these digital films. Waking Life, was more an ex- 
periment for the artists who turned his footage into animation 
than it was for him. "It was a momentary tool," he says. 

For Tape, which stars Robert Sean Leonard and Ethan 
Hawke, his choice was more deliberate. "I went to B&H photo [in 
New York]; I listened to some advice," he says. "I was interested 
in the 24P camera, but I was six months ahead of the curve. I 
liked the way The Cruise looked, but that was in black and white 
and I wasn't sure of the color look." 

Tape takes place in one hotel room over the course of a cou- 
ple of hours, but Linklater's challenge was still about action. 
"Moving a film camera is probably a bigger deal in terms of light- 
ing and the weight of it. [Cinematographer Maryse Alberti] and I 
each had a camera," says Linklater. "Even during a take, when 
one actor speaks and the other doesn't, I could move in and get a 
new composition. I wanted to not return to the same angle. I 
wanted it to be this David Hockney-type collage. It sounds crazy 
but that was the image I had in mind. I said, the actors were well- 
rehearsed, and here's the space, let's wrap ourselves around that 
and try to attack it physically We were like little piranhas nipping 
at it with our cameras." 

Sony PD-1 50 (www.sony.com) | $4,400 



On the set of Jape with the Sony PD-i^o 



7^ 

o 

i 

b 
o 




JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2002 | THE INDEPENDENT 



A Dream 
DIY System: 
DV to DVD 

by Greg Gilpatrick 

As A FILMMAKER and professional 
computer geek I often find myself 
dreaming about the myriad ways 
I can increase my productivity and cre- 
ativity through the addition of com- 
puter hardw/are and sofiware. While 
incredibly creative and resourceful film 
and videomakers make amazing work 
with the lowest of the low-end of tech- 
nology, I usually blame my own unsuc- 
cessful ventures on my lack of high-end 
and even higher priced digital media 
creation tools (a.k.a. "toys"). 

While I wait to hear back from 
American Express about a higher credit 
limit, I've been spending my time going 
to online shopping sites putting to- 
gether the ultimate computer video sys- 
tem. My current system isn't shabby by 
any means, but in the worlds of com- 
puters and digital video there's always 
something newer, better, and more ex- 
pensive that promises to work faster, al- 
low you more creativity, and make you 
an all-around better person. 

Although I perform quite a few 
tasks that involve film, video, and com- 
puters, my main activity is taking video 
from tape, editing it, adding effects and 
graphics, and turning it into a DVD. All 
of these tasks rely upon specialized 
software and hardware that can vary in 
price — ranging from free to up to a $1 
million. I could have just filled my wish 
list with an Avid|DS HD and Discreet 
Inferno and filled these pages with just 
the pricetags of their respective ver- 
sions. But instead here's a list of items 
that can be added to many people's ex- 
isting set-ups to put them on par with 
(or make them even better than) more 
expensive "turnkey" systems that you 
can find in a post house. 



INTERESTING HARDWARE 

Apple PowerMac C4 A 

The dual 800 G4 is Apple's top of the line 
workstation that provides the backbone of 
the dream system. Out of the box, it 
comes with the DVD-R superdrive to burn 
CDs and DVDs. That alone is a great tool. 
But it also includes built-in FireWire 
ports, and in my configuration also in- 
cludes a Zip 250 drive for backing up and 
swapping documents as well as the Nvidia 
GeForce} video card — currently the best 
computer video card available on any plat- 
form. The two 800 Mhz G4 chips inside 
should give enough processing power for 
all of the dream tasks we'll be using it for. 

Apple Cinema Display B 

The Cinema Display is the most gorgeous 
computer monitor available for any com- 
puter. While some video pros prefer two 
separate displays, my opinion is that the 
Cinema Display is easier on the eyes and 
the hands — the less distance you have to 
move the mouse, the less repetitive stress 
on your hand. 

Pinnacle Cinewave RT 

Picking a video card to digitize from your 
analog video source is a very personal de- 
cision. While there are many cards to 
choose from, only three are suitable for 
our dream system — the Aurora Igniter, 



Digital Voodoo's Di Desktop, and the 
CineWave. I chose the Cinewave RT be- 
cause it supports the new real-time effects 
in Final Cut Pro 2 and it offers a clear up- 
grade path to High-Definition video if we 
were to choose to do that in the future. 

Wacom Cintiq C 

Most of you have probably seen a graphics 
tablet — it's a flat-surface device that trans- 
lates what you draw on it to the computer 
screen. The Cintiq takes this one step fur- 
ther and puts the computer screen in the 
tablet so that you are drawing directly on 
the screen. While this may not seem im- 
mediately applicable to video editing, this 
could be useful in the creation of graphic 
elements for DVD menus, titles, and vi- 
sual effects. 

Sonic SD-1000 

This is a card that converts video into 
MPEG2, the video format for DVDs in 
real-time. DVD Studio Pro, which is sig- 
nificantly cheaper at $999 versus 
$10,000, includes an MPEG2 software 
encoder, but it doesn't work in real time. 
So if you have a lot of video to encode, this 
device could save you time, and time is 
money. Sonic has certified the product to 
work with DVD Studio Pro. 




6 THE INDEPENDENT | JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2002 



BORING HARDWARE 

Two 512MB RAM DIMMs 

Having a huge amount of RAM is essen- 
tial for creating the fastest and most pow- 
erful video system. Luckily, RAM prices 
are incredibly low right now so adding 
over a gigabyte of RAM to the 256 MB that 
came installed with the G4 shouldn't be 
too much of a problem. 

ATTO DUAL-CHANNEL 
ULTRA3 SCSI CARD 

Almost as important as the processor 
speed of the computer is how fast data can 
move from the hard drive to the rest of the 
computer. Ultra} SCSI is about as fast as 
you can get for a desktop computer. It can 
send and receive data up to 160 mega- 
bytes per second. Since this type of con- 
nection is not built into the computer, 
we'll have to add this card to the computer 
in order to connect our high-performance 
hard drives. I selected the dual-channel 
version so we can connect other SCSI de- 
vices (like the DLT drive) without slowing 
down the connection to the hard drives. 

Medea VideoRaid RT 6/450 D 

In order to get the best video performance 
from your hard drives, it's best to use a 
set-up called a RAID (Redundant Array of 
Inexpensive Disks) that spreads the data 
transfer among several disks. This prod- 
uct packages six high-performance hard 
drives into one box that gives you 450 
gigabytes of storage — enough to hold sev- 
eral hours of the highest quality uncom- 
pressed video. Even if the dream system 
were only for DV video over FireWire, 
I would still choose this product for its re- 
liability and speed compared to FireWire 
hard drives (which Apple officially dis- 
courages for the use of video editing). 

LaCie DLT1 Drive E 

DLT (Digital Linear Tape) is a form of me- 
dia used to store up to 80 gigabytes of data 
onto relatively inexpensive tapes. While 
mostly used to backup data on corporate 
computers and servers, DLT has become 
important in the video world because it's 
the standard for sending DVD files to a 
manufacturing facility. If you intend to 
create DVDs that will be mass-produced, 
especially the longer DVD-9 format, a 
DLT drive is a necessity. 

ATI Radeon PCI video card 

This is simply another video card so you 
have something to connect to the Wacom 
Cintiq. 



SOFTWARE 

Apple Final Cut Pro 2 

Final Cut Pro has proven itself as a versa- 
tile product for beginners and seasoned 
professionals and is the cornerstone of the 
Dream System. 

Apple DVD Studio Pro 

Apple's professional DVD authoring envi- 
ronment provides an intuitive and power- 
ful tool that allows users to create 
full-featured DVDs. 

Discreet Combustion (below) 

Although Adobe's After Effects is most 
people's compositing tool of choice on 
desktop systems, I find Combustion to be 
a more powerful and more intuitive appli- 
cation from the company that makes the 
workstation systems used on many big- 
budget films and TV programs. 




Electric Image Universe 3D 

I chose Universe 3D over the more well 
known and respected Maya or Lightwave 
because I'm already familiar with it. Uni- 
verse 3D is more than enough for the sim- 
ple animations I'll use this Dream System 
to create. 

Electric Image Amorphium Pro 

Amorphium's tool section is useful at 
beating, scratching, and denting your 3-D 
models to give them a higher sense of re- 
alism. In conjunction with the Cintiq, you 
could do some pretty cool stuff. 

Adobe Photoshop (right) 

Photoshop is necessary for creating 
menus for DVDs and is useful for a host 
of graphics, design, and effects work. 
Combustion, Final Cut Pro, and DVD Stu- 
dio Pro all open Photoshop natively. 

Adobe Illustrator 

Illustrator really becomes useful when 
used in conjunction with Combustion, as 
the program automatically opens Illustia- 
tor files and allows you to animate them 
over time. 



THE SHOPPING CART 

Hardware 

Apple PowerMac G4 — with dual 800 
Mhz processor with DVD-R "Super- 
Drive," Nvidia GeForce 3 video card, 
and Zip 250 drive(www.apple.com/ 
powermac) 



Apple 22" Cinema Display 
(wvw.apple.com/displays) 

Pinnacle CineWave RT 
analog video card 
(www.pinnaclesys.com) 



$3,849 
$2,499 

$4,960 



f^ 
^ 



Wacom Cintiq 15" display/tablet 
(www.wacom.com) $1,899 

Sonic SD-1000 MPEG2 video 

encoder (www.sonic.com) $10,000 

2 512 MB PC133 RAM DIMMs $140 



^ 



ATTO Ultra3 SCSI PCI Card 
(www.attotech.com) 



$549 



Medea 6/450 GB VideoRaid RT 
(www.medea.com) $4,999 



LaCie DLTl drive (www.lacie.com) $1,699 

$229 



ATI Radeon PCI video card 
(wwAV.ati.com) 



Software 

Apple Final Cut Pro 2 
(www.apple.com/finalcutpro) $999 

Apple DVD Studio Pro 
(www.apple.com/dvdstudiopro/) $999 

Discreet Combustion 
(www.discreet.com) $3499 

Electric Image Universe 3D 
(www.universe3d.com) $1,999 

Electric Image Amorphium Pro 
(www.electricimage.com) $379 

Adobe Photoshop 

(www.adobe.com) $609 

Adobe Illustrator 

(www.adobe.com) $199 

GRAND TOTAL: $39,506 




JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2002 j THE INDEPENDENT 7 



DVCAM: 

THE DEFINITION 

OF PROFESSIONAL 




HOW DO YOU DEFINE TRUE PROFESSIONALS 



BY THEIR INTENSITY. THEIR CREATIVIT 



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DVCAM 



Why do professionals pick Sony DVCAM 
systems? First, for the Sony DVCAM 
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Professionals know that DVCAM camcorders can take 
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viewfinders. Professional l/O's. And much more. 

Professionals also know that DVCAM VTRs take the 
stress out of editing. With Pre-read. Frame-accurate 
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digital interfaces. The convenience of handling all 
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There's never been a better time to start 
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Ask the 
Final Cut Pro 



Bart Weiss 



Dear Pro, 

In editing a program on Final Cut Pro that's shot partly in 
DV-Cam and partly in Beta-SP, do you have suggestions for 
the best way to input the Beta-SP material? (NewDealFilms) 

There are two ways to approach this situation. You could use a 
board to digitize your Beta footage, like a Targa board or an RT 
Mac. Then you have to get a box for deck control (you do have a 
deck don't you?). The other choice is to make DV dubs of your 
Betas and work from them. How you go will depend on how much 
Beta you have. I think there are fewer problems when you work 
with Final Cut Pro with Fire Wire through the DV systems rather 
than going with digitizing with a board because you get into drive 
speed issues and other problems. If you go with the RT Mac solu- 
tion realize that it has an S input not RYBY, so make sure your Beta 
deck has an S outlet (and not aU do!). 

Dear Pro, 

Will upgrading to Final Cut Pro 2.0 affect my current project 
files? Does the directory to linking current media with 
browser files remain intact after an upgrade? What are com- 
mon issues or complaints following upgrades? (Jan 
Cero/Jenn Carrison) 

Yes, hold off on upgrading until you finish your project, if that 
is what you are asking. Final Cut will upgrade your files, but you 
would be wise to wait. There is a good article on Ken Stone's 
Web site (www.kenstone.net) about upgrading to 2.0. I can tell 
you that for some reason 2.0 has more problems dropping 
frames than version 1.25, but it has better file management, 
audio meters, scrolling text, and a real usable manual that make 
up for it. The book in itself is worth it. Note: you also have to 
upgrade to QuickTime 5, which comes with it. 

Dear Pro, 

What is best for Final Cut Pro: internal hard drives or exter- 
nal hard drives? Which hard drives work best with the 
program? (Cruz Angeles) 

The question is not really internal or external, I use both. The 
key is data management and mismanagement. If you use an in- 
ternal drive you should partition it (again a good how-to on Ken 
Stone's site) and have your system file and other programs like 
word processing, Internet, and e-mail separate from all your 
video editing stuff When you mix on the same drive you are 
asking for capture problems. As to what drives are good, there 
are many. The best speed is 7200 rpm. FireWire drives work 
well, but make sure that the one you get has the Oxford 911 chip 
set. And newer FireWire drives are better than ones from a year 
ago. One of the nice things about working the FireWire/Mini- 
DV direction is that you are transferring digital data rather than 
converting it on the fly, so really fast drives are not as important 
as in other systems (like Avid). And to figure out how much you 
need, figure that one gig gives you 4.5 minutes of picture and 
sound. That does not include what you might need to render 
files, so you can do the math and see what your data needs are. 
Remember that drives are getting cheap and you saved so much 
by not buying that Avid that you can spend on drive space. 
And while you're at it, buy some more RAM. 



Dear Pro, 

There's an easy feature on Avid with dissolves that seems to 
have no equivalent on Final Cut...or am I wrong? On the 
Avid, when I'm sound editing, I often go through each sound 
edit and add a little dissolve, say three or five frames, over 
and over and over. This is easy because the Avid always re- 
members my last dissolve length and where the dissolve 
should be placed (whether it should end at, start at, or center 
the cut). Moreover, if I want to change the length it's auto- 
matically highlighted so there's no extra clicking — I just type 
in the dissolve length and hit return before the dissolve ever 
gets laid down. Final Cut seems so much more complicated. 
Is there some easy way to determine the lengths of dissolves 
(i.e., one that involves less than six mouse clicks plus typing) 
and the position of the dissolve on the cut (i.e., without 
this ridiculous dragging of both edges of the dissolve icon)? 
This would be a great time saver in sound editing. (Joshua 
Marston) 

There is a way to do what you want, sort of But before we go 
there, there is a mantra that you need to learn: Final Cut Pro is 
a great program for what it costs, it does a lot, but it is not an 
Avid. We forget this often because it does so many wonderful 
Avid-like things. Repeat: Avid equals $30,000, Final Cut Pro 
equals $999 (and it's much less — as in $250 — if you can 
muster a student I.D.). 

Having said that, let's get to your problem. You need to 
make the length of dissolves you want (3 or 4 frames) as your de- 
fault transition. You can do this in the browser by dragging the 
cross dissolve for picture and sound, or the cross fade for sound 
only, into the favorites folder (both of these can be found in the 
effects tab of the browser). Then change the length of the dis- 
solves In the length column in the browser, clip the default 
length and type in what you want. Then when you get to the 
transition you want, click on it, you can use the up and down ar- 
rows that move edit to edit to make sure you are on. the transi- 
tion, then control-click. The middle option should be your 
custom dissolve. If you didn't set the length, the default would 
be one second. You could then control-click again and type in 
the length of the dissolve you like. 

Dear Pro, 

If I want to work on an Avid system to finish my documen- 
tary after roughing it out on Final Cut Pro, is there any 
compatibility in terms of the lists? (Raney Aronson) 

This is easy. You just export your EDL list in the Export com- 
mand. Select "CMX 3600" and save it on whatever media you 
have (Zip disc, CD burner) then import it in the Avid EDL man- 
ager and convert it into an Avid sequence. That should work. 
To be on the safe side, keep it simple and do one video track and 
a few audio ones to do a quick test before you go very far. To be 
fair, I have not done this myself but others have with ease. 
By the way, you can transfer the other way too. 

Bart Weiss is the founder of the Dallas Video Festival 
(www.videofest.org). He is also co-chairman of the hoard of the 
Association of Independent Video and Filmmakers. 



For more Final Cut Pro help, pose a question on the AIVF 
Web site message board at www.aivf.org. Also see 
www.2p0p.com and www.kenstone.net. 



JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2002 | THE INDEPENDENT 9 



Cool "Clothes" 
for Your Camera 



by Robert Coodman 



Filters and Matte Boxes 

Using graduated neutral density filters to 
reduce the brightness of the sky without 
changing the rest of the scene is probably 
the best investment anyone shooting 
mini-DV can make, even if it means get- 
ting a matte box to position them properly 
in front of the lens. Here are some options 
for kits that include both: 

The Van Dieman "Mosquito" matte 
box system ($945) is beautifully finished in 
every way and an excellent matte box for 
handheld use, though it is expensive. The 
modular system mounts on lenses with di- 
ameters under loomm using clamp 
adapters ($65), attaches with a standard 
15mm mini-rod or bridge plate system, or 
with Cinetech's XLi Mini-Rod Plate ($440). 
Rod systems are best suited for tripod use 
or short handheld stints. The "Mosquito" 
box has two filter stages; both rotate and ac- 
cept 4" X 4" glass or resin filters. You'll need 
a french flag ($275) to complement the 
fixed wide angle lens hood. 

Birns & Sawyer's Image 2000-95 
matte box ($495) is extremely light and 
clamps on Century Precision Optics, wide 
angle adapters, or Canon lenses with an 
89mm ring adapter that's included in the 
price. It has a fixed hood with two non-ro- 
tating stages that accept 4" x 4" or 4 x 6" 
glass or resin filters. The Image 2000-80 
($395) includes a 58mm reducing ring to 
mount the hood on a Sony PD-150 or 
Canon GLi. However, you must buy it for 
a specific camera. 



B&S also sells two optical resin filter 
kits ($150): Diffusion Effects and Gradu- 
ated Filter. The near weightlessness of 
resin is a plus, but resin filters are prone 
to scratching. If you're buying for the long 
haul, glass is a better value despite higher 
costs. 

Formatt's FM500 is a feather-weight, 
dual-stage matte box with a fixed wide an- 
gle hood and attached french flag. For- 
matt, a UK manufacturer of glass filters, 
packages the FM500 with three 4" x 4" fil- 
ters of your choice and a screw-in or 
clamp-on adapter for $599 in its Holly- 
wood Pro-Pack. 



Canon's Remote 
Controller ZR-iooo 





An assortment of filters from Formatt 
10 THE INDEPENDENT! JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2002 



The set-up for Formatt's Hollywood Pro- Pack 

The FM5oo's hood and french flag 
are made of plastic with machined alu- 
minum mounting hardware and filter 
stages. Careful attention was paid to the 
smallest details. The stages have locks to 
secure the filters in place. The rotafing 
stage has ergonomic finger grips and a 
smooth acfion. The adapter rings are se- 
cured to the matte box with a knurled 
screw. A hinged lid prevents light, from 
above, from striking the filters. The wide 
angle lens hood can be swapped with a 
deeper, narrower version ($99) by loosen- 
ing four screws. A thumb knob locks the 
large attached french flag in position. 
There isn't a bellows version but this 
matte box comes close to getting 
everything right. 

A major bonus is the cost. For- 
matt's 4" x 4" glass filters sell for $125 
to $165 each. Do the math and 
you'll note the matte box costs less 
than $225 even though it's dearly 
worth far more. 

Remote Controls 

LANG remote zoom and focus controls 
can offer more precise control over the 




lens operations than the rocker switch on 
camcorder lenses. Some features may not 
work with every model of camcorder. 
Canon's Remote Controller ZR-1000 

($249) has a rocker switch for zooming, 
buttons for focusing, record search, 
start/stop, standby, on-screen information 
display and a dial to set zoom speed. The 
ZR-IOOO has five speeds and a pressure- 
sensitive variable setting. Small brackets on 
the back of this plastic remote will only fit 
pan handles up to three-eighths of an inch 
in diameter and the cable, which is only 12 
inches, isn't long enough to reach from a 
tripod's pan handle to the camera. 

B&S's CooLzoom "L" remote control 
($395), a tiny, brightly-colored square box, 
is designed to be mounted on a pan or jib 
handle. It also fits on the Image 2000 
shoulder support. An LED indicates 
whether the camera is in record, pause, or 
stop mode. Zoom speed is controlled by 
pressure on a small switch that offers the 
same sensitivity as the camcorder's rocker 
switch. The rubber tip on the CooLzoom 
has a tendency to come off if you press too 
hard, though losing it doesn't matter. 

The compact size and Hght weight is a 
big plus, though the CooLzoom got con- 
fused at times and lost contiol of the cam- 
era. The remote can be reset by 
unplugging it. If size is your primary con- 
sideration, the CooLzoom is a better choice 
than Canon's remote. If accurate zoom 
speed is more important, consider the re- 
mote controls manufactured by Varizoom, 
re\aewed in October 1999. 




CooLzoom 
"L" remote 
control 



Quick Release Plate 

Videosmith's Mightywondercam Rover- 
Snap quick release plate ($69.95) i^ ^^' 
signed for cameras that weigh less than 10 
pounds. The Rover- Snap is a two-piece 
unit consisting of a camera platform and a 
base plate that mounts on a tripod. An 
anti-twist pin prevents the platform sec- 
tion from rotating. You can release the 
camera with one hand by pressing on the 
lever and lifting it away. Remounting the 
camera is just as easy. The Rover-Snap is 
beautifully made. It worked flawlessly in 
extensive field tests and is sized for mini- 
DV camcorders. 







One Motivation. 



Making It. 



i « 




Videosmith's Mightywondercam Rover-Snap quick 
release plate 

Field Monitor 

Panasonic's TC-7WMS1 ($795) is a 7" 
color LCD battery-powered (12V) wide- 
screen monitor with a built-in speaker 
that offers four display modes: 4:3 letter- 
boxed, 4:3 expanded to fill the frame, 16:9, 
or zoom mode. The zoom feature may 
help some people with focus, but I didn't 
like it. The monitor has two video inputs, 
though the supplied cable only has one 
video and audio input and an Anton- 
Bauer gold battery connector. The moni- 
tor has a 1/4-20 socket for mounting. 
Birns & Sawyer offers a Dog Bone adapter 
kit ($275) that includes a Panavise swivel 
adapter, hot shoe adapter, and dog bone 
bracket. This lets you mount the monitor 
in the camcorder's hot shoe and position 
it to avoid glare. 

Robert Goodman (wd24p@hotmail.com) 
is an independent filmmaker and one of 
the authors of the American Society of 
Cinematographers Video Manual. Da- 
mon Sinclair contributed to this article. 



it 

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JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2002 |THE INDEPENDENT 11 



INTRODUCING 



XLiB 



THIS TIME WE'RE TURNING THE PROFESSIONAL CAMERA WORLD INSIDE OUT. 




Microsoft" 
Windows'XP 



tmdemerks of Microsoft CorpomOon In the UitlWd States and/or other countries. 

7t>gBeslgnedfi3r\Mnd<:msXPkigoi^tstDtheM.1Sandlt5drh^eronty. 



DV Control operates external 
storage/recording devices 
through the IEEE 1394 terminal 



EVF display can be on. 
partially on or completely off 



'owerSave overrides VCR 
luto shut-off, leaving 
■amera section on 




White balance -Auto, Preset Indoor, 
Preset Outdoor and 3 memory settings 



SMPTE color bars 




, Index Record lets you 
mark the shots you like 



, Improved Picture Quality - signal 
to noise ratio Improved by4dB 



Lower Power Consumption 



Gain - additional settings of+18dB, 
*30dB for vlrtually-no-llght conditions ^ 16:9 guldemarks 



Two Customizable Keys you can 
16:9 guldemarks • program to operate any of 13 different 

on the EVF In 4:3 mode functions (9 In camera, 4 In VCR) 



, Adjustable Zebra Level to reveal 
overexposure (80, 85, 90, 95 or 100 IRE) 



^ 3 memory settings for picture 
adjustment registration 



, Zoom Speed Set allows for low, medium 
and fast (plus variable) zoom speeds 



, Slow Shutter Speed button now located 
conveniently on shutter control 



Easy menu layout 



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q 




The Name of This Book 
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by Richard Kelly 

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Dogme95: marketing stunt or 
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this collection of interviews 
and personal ruminations. 
Kelly journeys around the 
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and Dogme converts Harmony 
Korine, Jean-Marc Barr, and 
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14 THE INDEPENDENT I JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2002 




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Charles Roberts, assistant professor of video and dig- 
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17) 



Second Generation Shots 

The Canon XL Is takes over for its obsolete cousin 



BY Robert M. Goodman 



If you're in the market for a reasonably 
priced digital filmmaking camcorder, the 
Canon XLls ($4495 list, street $3700) 
should be on your short list. The XLls 
looks, at first glance, like its older relative. 
Its eye -catching design is as 
fresh today as it was in 
1997 when Canon intro- 
duced the XLl. What's 
best is that although 
numerous improvements 
have been made, making 
the XLls far easier to use 
for digital filmmaking, 
the price hasn't changed. 
In 2002, the XLls is still 
the only mini-DV cam- 
corder with interchange- 
able lenses that lists for 
under $5000. 

Our tests of the cam- 
era started with evaluat- 
ing the new features. 
Canon added more imag- 
ing controls, important 
to filmmakers, and modi- 
fied how those settings 
and other camera func- 
tions are accessed. A 
"menu" button activates 
a list that appears in the 
viewfinder. The iris 
wheel, normally used to 
adjust the lens aperture, 
allows you to scroll up or 
down and highlight 
choices. Push the wheel 
in to select a menu 
choice. It's fast and easy 
to use because you can 
change settings with one finger. The 
approach is identical to how camera func- 
tions are set on Canon's GLl. 

Custom Imaging Controls 

Canon's realization that professionals 
rather than consumers were the principal 



market for the XLl prompted the addi- 
tion of "DSP controls" in higher-end 
cameras and selectable levels for zebra 
patterns. The digital signal processor 
(DSP) controls every aspect of the signal 



measured with a waveform monitor. Skin 
is typically exposed to a value of 70 IRE, 
which is approximately a 70 percent gray 
value in photographic terms. Professionals 
use the zebras on high- end cameras as a 
light meter, pegging skin tones and the 
zebras to 70 IRE. Canon had the right 
idea — the zebra pattern level on the XLls 
can be set — though the range is only from 
80 IRE to 100 IRE. In practice, the best 
approach to achieve maximum image 
quality is to set the zebras for 95 IRE and 
then stop down until all the zebras disap- 
pear except for any on specular highlights 
in the picture. 




\ new Canon XLls 



from the CCDs . The XLls provides con- 
trol over sharpness (detail), color gain 
(saturation), color phase (hue), and setup 
level (black levels) in six steps, plus or 
minus from the default setting. 

Zebra settings indicate which portions 
of the picture are over a certain level as 



Canon's choice to move the menu nav- 
igation to the iris wheel freed up three 
buttons on the body of the XLls. Higher 
capacity memory chips allow you to store 
three custom presets and assign them to 
what were the navigation buttons. To test 
this feature we created three looks: a low- 



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contrast mode with black level compres- 
sion, higher color saturation, and reduced 
detail; a high-contrast mode with less 
black level compression, low color satura- 
tion, and reduced detail; and a skin tone 
mode with minimal detail, warmer hues, 
black level compression, and slightly 
lower color saturation. 

You can switch between these settings 
by pressing the custom preset button and 
cycling through the four possible choices 
— three presets and factory default. The 
changes are instantly apparent as you 
adjust the settings under the function 
menu. Unfortunately, after you've stored 
the settings, and then go to select them 
using the button on the body of the cam- 
era, the setting doesn't take effect until 
I after you've selected it. In practice, this 
t means you'll need to make a cheat sheet 
to remember what you stored in CPl, 
CP2, and CP3 or go through the process 
several times if you choose the wrong one. 
Despite this minor annoyance, having 
three presets to cope with varying condi- 
tions is a godsend. 

The higher memory capacity also 
allows for three custom white balance set- 
tings to be stored in addition to the auto- 
matic, daylight, and tungsten settings. 
This feature is handy when you want to 
store subtle adjustments to color balance 
or must work under fluorescent or mer- 
cury vapor lights. 

You'll appreciate the new clear scan 
feature it you've ever had to shoot with 
computer or television monitors in the 
frame. Switch on clear scan and you can 
adjust the sync frequency from 61.9 to 
201.5 MH: in 117 steps, one ot which will 
hide the rolling black bar that appears on 
the monitors in your image. Interestingly, 
during our brief test, the normal frequen- 
cy setting was the best choice tor the 
monitor we shot. Howex'er, from past 
experience, I know clear scan can be a lite 
saver when shooting in a room filled with 
monitors. 

Additional Eniiancements 

An intervolometer function provides 
time-lapse capabilities. The length ot time 
the camera will record can be preset and 
the moment at which recording begins 
can be set at intervals of 30 seconds or 
one, five, or ten minutes. 

One of the most disconcerting things 



about the old Canon XLl was the auto 
shut-off feature. After five minutes of 
inactivity the camera automatically pow- 
ered down. The XLls now offers a choice. 
A VCR stop option will power down just 
the recorder so you can continue to work 
on lighting, exposure, or framing without 
having to leave the tape door open to pre- 
vent the camera from shutting off. 

Other useful functions in the menus 
are zoom speed settings for the handle 
mounted zoom control and the pistol grip 
control. The controls on the handle typi- 
cally come into use for low angle shooting 
and the doggie cam \'iew. The pistol grip 
control offers pressure sensitive zoom 
speed control but the rocker switch on the 
handle grip had only one speed. The new 
XLls provides low, medium, and fast 
speed options for both rocker switches. 

It was a quasi-secret that the XLl could 
generate what looked like color bars when 
you pressed a certain sequence of buttons. 
Unfortunately, the bars weren't calibrat- 
ed, so they had no practical use. The XLls 
corrected this oversight by adding cali- 
brated SMPTE spht-field color bars and 
made them readily ax'ailable on the digi- 
tal-effects selection menu. This allows 
users to set up a monitor in the field and 
record bars on the head of a tape though 
there's no 1 KH: tone generator for audio 
calibration. 

An index write feature allows you to 
record a six-second index signal at any 
point during recording. The purpose is to 
make searching easier to do because the 
word "INDEX" appears in the viewfinder 
oi the XLls. The button that records this 
non-erasable signal is a custom key button. 

The two custom keys are separate from 
the custom preset buttons. You can assign 
index wxite, zebra on or off, VCR stop or 
camera shutoff, a zoom speed, audio one 
or two input options, or whether to dis- 
play \'iewfinder information on a connect- 
ed monitor to either oi these two buttons 
in camera mode. When the camera is 
VCR mode for dubbing or playback, the 
custom keys can be used to select whether 
to display the \-iewfinder information on 
an external monitor, turn the time code 
display on or off, or change the audio 
input options. 

The EVF display button, which used to 
turn off and on some but not all ot the 
information in the \-iewfinder, has been 



50 THE INDEPENDENT January/Februan' 2002 



^ 



enhanced. The new XL Is allows you to 
turn off everything without using the 
remote control. When the camera is first 
powered up the date, time, time zone, 
camera mode, and audio setting appear in 
the viewfinder for a few seconds. Of the 
new viewfinder display options, the most 
important one is the 16x9 guide because 
production is moving from 4:3 to 16:9 and 
even wider aspect ratios. Two thin white 
lines indicate the top and bottom of a 
16:9 image so you can shoot in 4:3 mode 
and frame correctly for 16:9. It would be 
nice if Canon had gone all the way and 
added crosshairs but it's an enormous 
improvement nonetheless. 

External changes on the camera 
include: +18 and +30 dB gain settings in 
addition to the -3, 0, +6, and +12 set- 
tings on the XLl; and video insert and 
audio dubbing buttons on the VCR con- 
trols because the XL Is can accept analog 
video and can convert it to miniDV. In 
our tests, the tape transport was signifi- 
cantly quieter while recording and when 
paused. The XLls uses about 10 percent 
less power than the XLl so battery life is 
slightly better. The signal-to-noise ratio of 
the camera was enhanced by +4dB. This 
may partly account for the 1/4 to _ stop 
increase in speed we noted during our 
exposure tests. 

Enhancements made to the 16X lens 
may also account for the slight increase in 
speed. The autofocus feature reacts faster 
and hunts less. The zoom movement is 
better and back focus seems to be main- 
tained throughout the range. The manual 
focus ring is stiffer and feels more respon- 
sive. Under working conditions, the new 
lens enabled us to get shots faster and 
improve our productivity. 

Canon has made many valuable 
improvements though the imaging section 
of the camera hasn't undergone any radi- 
cal changes. There are reasons to upgrade 
if you own the old version, but it could be 
a tough decision. Some documentary 
filmmakers may prefer a smaller, less 
obtrusive camera. However, new lens 
options for this camera may offer a com- 
pelling reason to think otherwise. 

Robert Goodman is an Emv^iy nominated 

writer/director, based in Philadelphia, and one of 

the authors of the ASC's Video Manual. Send 

your comments to him at 'wd24p@hotmail.com. 



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Vbices from Twentieth 
Century Cinema 
Wheeler Winston Dixon 
Southern lUinois University Press, 
$19.95 

With the 15 interviews included in this 
well thought-out collection, film scholar 
Winston Wheeler Dixon attempts to 
explore subjects that readers might not 
expect from each interview subject. So in 
the session with Vincent Price, Dixon 
talks with the actor about his work out- 
side of the horror/B-movie world. In the 
book's first interview, with Gerard 
Malanga, Andy Warhol's "right-hand 
man," Dixon offers a glimpse into how 
exactly and why Warhol mo\'ed into film- 
making. 

In his general introduction to the 
interviews, which span 20 years and have 
appeared (generally in truncated form) 
in the pages of Cineaste, Classic Images, 
and Film Criticism, among others, Dixon 
looks back on cinema's first century. 
That, he posits, could well be film's only 



century, since the advent of digital tech- 
nology is leaving no room for the tradi- 
tion of moving pictures. "We are now," he 
writes, "in the digital age where we were 
one hundred years ago in the era of the 
cinematograph: at the beginning." 

Dixon offers a somewhat bleak view of 
the world of independent cinema. Art- 
house and independent movies, he 
writes, are simply a way to a means. He 
says, "[Tjheir makers hope to graduate 
immediately to large-scale Hollywood 
films, thus rendering the independent 
cinema nothing more than a potential 
proving ground for future masters of the 
dominant cinema." But in terms of the 
film world in general, he plays devil's 
advocate by at first suggesting that cine- 
ma is dead — laid to rest by the heav'y 
hand of that prevalent evil, The 
Hollywood Blockbuster — only to come 
back again and pronounce that in truth, 
cinema "is constantly being reborn." 

But as much as Dixon may sound like a 
highbrow aesthete with a case of the too- 
intellectual leanings, he's got a taste for 
pop culture as well. Students or fans of 
the B film can read about Roger 
Gorman's work as a producer and distrib- 
utor and get glimpses of him working with 
such underlings as Francis Ford Goppola 
and joe Dante. Ren & Stimpy loyalists can 
learn about how the cartoon came to life, 
literally. Dixon talked with the series' cre- 
ator, John Kricfalusi, in 1992, just before 
he was fired by Nickelodeon (which had 
bought the rights to the characters). 

Ginematgrapher Freddie Francis shares 
some tales of working with Martin 
Scorses on Cape Fear, a shoot that much 
to Francis' dismay, got off to a rocky start. 
"Here I am working with one of the 
greatest filmmakers of the present-day," 
he recalls, "and I'm not having a good 
time." Eventually he got around 
Scorsese's "protectors" and became close 
with the director. 

In addition to the general introduc- 
tion, Dixon includes a briet preface to 
each interview, setting the scene and pro- 
viding context, so even it you know only 
the bare minimum about the history' o{ 
film, you'll understand the greater rele- 
vance oi each interview. 

-Farrm Jacobs 



52 THE INDEPENDENT January/February 2002 




,<^k ^% 




Kill Me Later 

Director: Dana Lustig 

(Studio Home Entertainment, $24.99) 

Kill Me Later has all the ingredients to be 
another mediocre indie black comedy — 
two on-the-verge stars, the requisite 
indie-rock soundtrack, that jump-cut 
editing/music video feel — yet manages to 
be much more satisfying. 

Shawn (Selma Blair), an acid-tongued 
loan officer, is bent on self-destruction 
and after a particularly rough morning, 
decides to end it all by jumping off of the 
roof of her bank's building. A chance 
encounter with Charlie (Max Beesley), 
after his botched robbery, changes the 
course of both of their lives when they 
strike a bargain — she'll help him out now 
by pretending to be his hostage if he 
promises to kill her later. 

Although Blair is in danger of becom- 
ing too omnipresent for her own good, her 
brooding pout is used to good effect here, 
and the vibe between her and Beesley, 
who has that Ewan MacGregor-style 
energy and haphazard charm, is a fun one 
to watch. There is rarely a dull moment in 
the movie, which clocks in at a lean 89 
minutes and takes place in 24 hours in the 
lives of its characters, starting at the end 
before jumping back to the beginning. 
Time, in a way, is its own character, as it 



runs both backward and forward. In one 
extended scene, the clock runs in reverse 
as Shawn and Charlie, who have been in 
motion for the most of the movie until 
this point, are finally able to catch their 
breath and rest for a few hours. 

After premiering at the Santa Barbara 
International Film Festival last year, the 
film was picked up by Lions Gate and had 
only a brief New York/Los Angeles run. 
But with all its potential for cult appeal. 
Kill Me Later, the second effort from 
Dana Lustig and Annette Goliti- 
Gutierrez (the director/ writer team 
behind Wedding Bell Blues), is bound to 
have a successful video/DVD life. 

— Farrin Jacobs 



Glass, Necktie 

Writer/director: Paul Bojack 
(EI Cinema, $19.98) 

Marital infidelity gets an inconclusive 
shoulder rub in Paul Bojack's Glass, 
Necktie. The film is sort of about 
immorality, and it's sort of about conjugal 
immaturity, but Bojack doesn't make this 
clear until beyond the halfway mark, at 
which point there's nothing left to do but 
wonder when the real duplicity kicks off 
The writer- director has come up with a 
handful of characters whose relationships 
to each other are kept vague enough to 
stay interesting. But in the interest of syn- 
opsis: Steve (Eric Cadora) is an underem- 
ployed but astonishing middle -class nar- 
cissist who's cheating on his pharmacist 
wife, Lourdes (Dorothy Gallagher). 
Incidentally, Steve's mistress, Selina 
(Nancye Ferguson), has a husband, Mike 
(Eugene Buica) , who happens to be forg- 
ing a friendship with Steve. Steve, mean- 
while, also happens to be part-timing 
with Mike's reticent, but apparently psy- 
chotic brother Alan (Kirk Strieker) at a 
copy shop so anonymous and suspect it 
must be a front for something less legal. 




The store's cluttered but profoundly 
actionless surroundings give its blase 
owner Alex (Jeff Bergquist) plenty of 
downtime to wax wise about the decep- 
tion afoot on either side of his counter. 

Shot in flat black and white and orna- 
mented with a score from the indie -movie 
music warehouse by the ordinarily insou- 
ciant Mark Mothersbaugh, Necktie is 
tame and undermotivated where it should 
be creepy 
and kinky. 
Bojack is 
clever 
enough to 
devise a 
group of 
characters 
operating 
in a sort of 
Pinterian 
cat's cradle 
of self-in- 
dulgence and deception, but this isn't 
designer betrayal. You want menace; you 
get corny R-rated banter instead. At some 
point, Allen and Steve wind up sitting 
around with Serena and Mike in the cou- 
ple's living room, and rather than mine 
the scene for the uncomfortable menace 
drifting beneath it, Bojack ends up with 
an occasion that suggests he's lost his grip 
on his dialogue. Serena: "Fuck You." 
Mike: "What position/" The film's astute 
thesis about the moral codes and their 
attendant behavioral dictates gets away 
from its makers, and callow exchanges 
predominate. 

Constructed bonds, the movie says, 
come with constructed moralities whose 
codes are understood only by their archi- 
tects. But as juicy as that suggestion is, 
Glass, Necktie simply isn't the place to see 
it come to life. The potential for psycho - 
sexual transgression isn't explored — as in 
the most attractive line in the film in 
which Steve tells the omniscient Alex, 
"The more I get to know Mike the more I 
want to fuck his wife." That's the sort of 
revelatory id-speak that got Laura San 
Giacomo and Peter Gallagher in a world 
of hurt in the iconically depraved sex, lies 
and videotape, on which Necktie has more 
than a little crush. 

— Wesley Morris 



]anuarv/Februar>' 2002 THE INDEPENDENT 53 






^ 



BY Bo Mehrad 

listings do not constitute an endorsement we 
recommend that you contact the festival 
directly before sending cassettes, as details 
may change after the magazine goes to press, 
deadline: 1st of the month two months prior 
to cover date (feb. 1 for april issue). include 
festival dates, categories, prizes, entry fees, 
deadlines, formats & contact info. send to: 
festivals@aivforg. aivf members can search 
up-to-date interactive festival directory at 
www.aivrorg 

Domestic 

antelope valley independent film festival, 

May 3-5, CA. Deadline: Feb. 1 (early); March 1 (final). 
Antelope Valley Independent Film Fetival eagerly seeks 
short & feature films of all genres & formats for its 5th 
annual test. Experimental Films are encouraged. All 
films will be screen in their original formats. Cats: short, 
doc, experimental. Formats: 35mm, 16mm, Beta, 
DigiBeta. Entry Fee: $20 (early); $40 (Final). Contact: 
Festival, 3041 West Avenue K, Lancaster, CA 93536; 
(661) 722-6478; fax: (661) 943-5573; info@aviff.com; 
www.aviff.com 

ARIZONA INT'L FILM FESTIVAL, April 11-21, AZ. 
Deadline: Feb. 4. Festival's mission is to showcase inde- 
pendent work (preferably not in distribution) from around 
the world to Arizona audiences. Works are screened in 
local movie theatres, community sites, & schools & on 
television in order to develop new audiences for inde- 
pendent work. Works participate in "The Reel Frontier" 
Film & Video Competition or are invited to non-competi- 
tive programs. Founded: 1990. Cats: incl. narrative fea- 
tures & shorts, doc features & shorts, experimental, ani- 
mation shorts, feature, doc, short, animation. Awards: 
Best of Category; Best of Arizona. Formats: 16mm, 
35mm, Beta SR DV DVD, S-VHS. Preview on VHS. Entry 
Fee: $30 (under 45 min.); $50 (45 min. & over). Contact: 
Guilio Scalinger, Box 431, Tucson, AZ 85702; (520) 623- 
4567; fax: 628-1737; reelfrontier@yahoo.com; 
www.azfilmfest.com 

ARIZONA STATE ART MUSEUM SHORT FILM & VIDEO 
FESTIVAL, Late Apr., AZ. Deadline: Feb. 15. A one night 
outdoor test. Entries should be no longer than 10 min. All 
entries become a part of the Museum's video library. For 
the return of your tape, submit self addressed stamped 
package. Founded: 1997. Cats: short, experimental. 
Awards: Juror's Choice (2), LeBlanc Audience Choice, & 
AZ award (Arizona artists only). Rreview on VHS. Entry 
Fee: none. Contact: John D. Spiak, Curatorial Museum 
Specialist, ASU Art Museum, Tenth St. & Mill Ave., Tempo, 
AZ 85287-2911; (480) 965-2787; fax: (480) 965-5254; 
spiak@asu.edu or asuartmuseum.asu.edu/filmfest/ 

ART IN MOTION, CA. Deadline: Jan. 15. An annual int'l 
test of time-based media which is organized around a 
central theme, rather than a specific media or genre. 
Biennially the test sends out a world-wide call for entries 
that result in a series of exhibitions, screenings, sym- 
posia & an education outreach program. In the inter- 
vening yr. the AIM test consists of a series of lectures, 
symposia, on-line discourse & curated events. 



Founded: 1999. Cats: Interactive/New Media, any style 
or genre. Formats: Any "time-based" media. Rreview on 
VHS/DVD/CD-Rom. Entry Fee: free. Contact: Janet Owen, 
use School of Fine Arts, University Rark Campus, Watt 
Hall, Rm. 103, Los Angeles, CA 90089; (213) 740-ARTS; 
fax: 740-8938 ; aim@usc.edu; www.usc.edu/aim 



tice topics or enviromental issues. Formats: 16mm, 
3/4", 1/2", U-matic, DV, DVD. Rreview formats same as 
screening formats. Entry Fee: $35 (under 20 min); $40 
(20-50 min.); $45 (over 50 min.), Contact: Rhil 
Hastings, Dept. of Cinema & Photography, Southern 
Illinois University, Carbondale, IL 62901-6610; (618) 



4 



Short and Sweet in Aspen 



SHORTSFEST 

• april 9-13 2002 



Widely recognized as one of North America's pre- 
miere showcases for short fihn and video, Aspen 
Shortsfest, in the Rocky Mountain resort communi- 
ty of Aspen, Colorado, offers an intimate international forum for emerging 
artists, established film professionals and film-loving audiences alike. The 11- 
year-old festival welcomes productions around the world — animated, live 
action, or documentaries — and in 2002 will select approximately 60 entries as 
competition finalists. An esteemed jury will award $20,000 in cash in several 
categories. Last year's festival highlights included a Closing Night with John 
Waters, a spotlight on animation visionaries Bob Sabiston and Tommy Pallotta 
{Waking Life), a day-long symposium with acclaimed cinematographers Allen 
Daviau (E.T.), Richard Crudo (American Pic), Dean Cundey (Alxdlo 13) and 
Amy Vincent (Eve's Bayou), a retrospective of influential French shorts; and 
much more. See listing. 



ARTWALLAH, FESTIVAL OF SOUTH ASIAN ARTS, May 

10-12, CA. Deadline: Feb. 15. Annual test seeks innova- 
tive films & videos by or about South Asians that express 
personal, political, & cultural struggles of the South 
Asian diaspora. Cats: any style or genre. VHS- NTSC 
only. Contact: Senain Kheshgi, PO Box 891, Culver City, 
CA 90232; senain@hotmail.com; www.artMallah.org 

ATHENS INT'L FILM & VIDEO FESTIVAL, April 26-May 4, 
OH. Deadline: Feb. 14. Annual test acknowledging cur- 
rent technical possibilities in film/video production. Each 
entry is pre-screened by a committee of artists. Works 
w/ high regard for artistic innovation, sensitivity to con- 
tent & personal involvement w/ the medium are wel- 
comed. Cats: feature, doc, short, script, experimental, 
animation, installation, any style or genre. Awards: Cash 
prizes & production services awarded to competition 
winners in each category, incl. narrative, doc. experi- 
mental & animation. Formats: 35mm, 16mm, 3/4", 1/2", 
S-VHS, Beta, Beta SR U-matic. Rreview on VHS (NTSC). 
3/4", 16mm. Entry Fee: $35, plus s.a.s.e./insurance. 
Contact: Festival, Athens Center for Film & Video, Box 
388, Rm. 407, 75 W. Union St., Athens, OH 45701; (740) 
593-1330; fax: 597-2560; bradley@ohiou.edu; 
www.athensfest.org 

BIG MUDDY FILM FESTIVAL, February 22 - March 3, IL. 
Deadline: Jan. 14. One of the oldest student/community- 
run film tests in the US, the Big Muddy is one of the pre- 
mier independent short film tests in the country. Films 
are shown on the SlUC campus as well as the greater 
Southern Illinois & Western Kentucky region. Big Muddy 
places emphasis on the experimental & doc filmmaker 
Founded: 1979. Cats: feature, doc, short, animation, 
experimental, any style or genre. Awards: Cash awards. 
Also: the John Michaels Memorial Film Award, presented 
to best work that promotes human rights, peace & jus- 



453-1482: fax: 453-2264; bigmuddy@siu.edu; 
www.bigmuddyfilm.com 

CINESOL LATINO FILM FESTIVAL. June 14- July 14. TX. 
Deadline: March 15. Fest showcases the best of Latino 
Film & Video in a traveling four week fest that literally 
makes its way through South Texas. Held in the Magic 
Rio Grande Valley of Texas. CineSol begins w/ a Premiere 
Weekend Splash on beautiful South Padre Island on the 
Gulf of Mexico, where filmmakers converge & interact w/ 
the audience. Cats: feature, doc. short, animation, 
experimental. Formats: 35mm, 16mm, DV Beta. Entry 
Fee: $20; $10 (Student). Contact: CineSol C/0 Galan 
Inc., 5524 Bee Caves Rd. Ste B-5. Austin, TX 78746; 
(512) 327-1333 ext.lO: fax: (512) 327-1547; 
info@cinesol.com: www.cinesol.com 

DALLAS VIDEO FESTIVAL. March 15-19, TX. Deadline: 
Jan. 8; Jan. 22 (late). 15th annual festival is one of the 
largest & most diversified video tests in the U.S.. pro- 
viding a showcase for new works by nat'l, int1. & 
regional ind. video artists. No thematic or content 
restrictions. Fest also accepts multimedia entries for the 
interActive Zone (CD-ROM. CD-I. 3D0. hypertext, etc.) & 
short digital videos to run on its Web site. Cats: Any style 
or genre, experimental, doc. animation, music video, 
feature, multimedia. Rental fees paid to participants. 
Formats: Beta SP preferred; will accept 3/4", 1/2", CD- 
ROM, digital video. S-VHS, Hi-8, Web. for extra $5. 
Preview on VHS. Entry Fee: $25 (members of the Video 
Assoc, of Dallas); $30 (non-members). Contact: DVF 
Bart Weiss, director, 1405 Woodlawn Ave., Dallas. TX 
75208; (214) 999-8999; fax: 999-8998; info@vide- 
ofest.org; www.video fest.org. 

DANCING FOR THE CAMERA: INT'L FESTIVAL OF FILM 
& VIDEO DANCE, Jun. 6 - Jul. 20, NC. Deadline: Early 
March. Fest solicits dance-related work for juried public 



54 THE INDEPENDENT January/Februan- 2002 



screenings at the American Dance Festival in Durfiam, 
NC. Cats: clioreography for the camera, doc, experimen- 
tal. Preview on VHS. Founded: 1996. Cats: doc, short, 
experimental. Preview on VHS. Contact: Festival, 1697 
Broadway, Rm. 900, New York, NY 10019; (212) 586- 
1925; fax: (212) 397-1196; adfny@americandance- 
fest.org; www.americandancefest.org 

FAIRFAX DOC FILM FESTIVAL, March 31-April 1, CA. 
Deadline: Feb. 1. Doc shorts & features are accepted. 
Festival seeks works by filmmakers working in Northem 
California. No entry form required. Founded: 1999. Cats: 
doc. Awards: Award for Best of Fest selected by audi- 
ence. Formats: Beta SP Preview on VHS. Entry Fee: No 
fee. Contact: David Weinsoff, Festival Director, 138 
Ridgeway Ave. , Fairfax, CA 94930; 415-460-9760; fax: 
460-9762; Weinsoff@ix.netcom.com 

FILMFEST DC FOR KIDS, April 24-May 5, DC. Deadline: 
Febrary 30. Animation where pictures tell the story. Live 
action that takes kids to another place & experience. 
More exotic the place, the better. Founded: 1986. Cats: 
feature, doc, short, animation, music video, student, 
family, children. Awards: Jury Award, Audience Award. 
Formats: 35mm, 16mm, 3/4", 1/2", S-VHS, Beta, Beta 
SP DigiBeta. Entry Fee: $15 short; $25 feature. Contact: 
Festival, 3831 Fulton Street, NW, Vlfashington DC, DC 
20007; (202) 338-4493; fax: (202) 338-4493; 
film4kids@aol.com; www.filmfestdc.org 

FLORIDA FILM FESTIVAL, June 6-17, FL. Deadline: Feb. 
22 (early); March 22 (late). 10-day event features for- 
eign & U.S. indie films (narrative, doc, animation), sem- 
inars, midnight movies, Florida student competition, cel- 
ebrations & special guests. Entries for American compe- 
tition must have at least 51% U.S. funding. Features 
must be 41 min. or more. Festival also sponsors several 
curated sidebars, special events, panels & receptions. 
Founded: 1992. Cats: feature, short, doc, animation. 
Awards: incl. Special Jury Awards, Audience Awards, 
Forever Florida Award, Perrier Bubbling Under Award & 
Grand Jury Awards (incl. $100,000 goods & services 
package for Best Narrative Feature). Formats: 35mm, 
16mm, 1/2", S-VHS, Beta, Beta SP DigiBeta, HD. Preview 
on VHS. Entry Fee: $20 (short); $35 (features). Contact: 
Matthew Curtis, Program Din, 1300 S. Orlando Ave., 
Maitland, FL 32571; (407) 629-1088; fax: 629-6870; 
filmfest@enzian.org; www.enzian.org 

HI MOM! FILM FESTIVAL, April 11-13, NC. Deadline: Jan. 
1 (early); Jan. 31 (final). Festival is accepting short shorts 
& not-so-short shorts w/ deep thoughts & shallow pock- 
ets. Three days of music, movies, & yes again: pancakes 
in the shape of your initials. Formats: all formats accept- 
ed. Awards: Cash & non-cash prizes awarded. Formats: 
All Formats accepted. Preview on VHS (PAL or NTSC). 
Entry Fee: none (early); $15 (final). Contact: HMFF 401 
Pritchard Ave., Chapel Hill, NC 27516; himomfilm- 
fest@yahoo.com; www.himomfilmfest.org 

HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH INT'L FILM FESTIVAL, June 14- 
27, NY Deadline: Jan. 20. Fest takes place at the Walter 
Reade Theater at Lincoln Center & is co-presented by the 
Film Society of Lincoln Center. Fest was created to 
advance public education on human rights issues & con- 
cems. Highlights from the fest are presented in a grow- 
ing number of cities around the world. Cats: feature, doc, 
short, any style or genre. Awards: Nestor Almendros 



Award for $5,000 given to a one filmmaker in the fest for 
courage in filmmaking. Formats: 35mm, 16mm, 3/4", 
Beta SR Preview on VHS (preview tapes are not returned, 
they are recycled). Entry Fee: No entry fee. Contact: John 
Anderson, 350 Fifth Ave., 34th Fl. , New York, NY 10118; 
(212) 216-1263; fax: 736-1300; andersj@hrworg; 
www.hrw.org/iff 

HUMBOLDT INT'L SHORT FILM FESTIVAL, April 3-7, 
CA. Deadline: Jan. 25. Since its inception in 1967, the 
Fest continues to support & celebrate filmmakers work- 
ing in experimental & non-traditional ways. Whether you 
are a first-time filmmaker in the process of developing 
your unique visual style, or an established independent 
continuing to push the limits of the medium, the Festival 
invites you to submit your 16mm or Super 8 short film. 
Nestled between the redwood forests & the Pacific 
ocean, the Humboldt Int'l Film Festival has the distinc- 
tion of being one of the oldest student run film tests in 
the world. Films must be under than 60 min. in length & 
completed in the last three years. Selected entries must 
be avail, for projection in film print format. The fest takes 
place in Areata, Calafornia, home to Humboldt State 
Universtiy. Founded: 1967. Cats: narrative, experimen- 
tal, animation, doc, & the "you call it" category, short, 
any style or genre. Awards: Last years fest awarded over 
$3,000 worth of cash prizes, film stock editing services 
& magazine subscriptions. Formats: 16mm, super 8. 
Preview on VHS. Entry Fee: $10 (under 9 min.); $20 (10- 
29 min.); $30 (30-60 min); $10 additional for Int'l 
entries . Contact: Jordan Packer, Dept. of Theater, Film, & 
Dance, Humboldt State Univ., Areata, CA 95521; (707) 
826-4113; fax: 826-4112; filmfest@humboldt.edu; 
www.humboldt.edu/~filmfest 

INT'L ELECTRONIC CINEMA FESTIVAL, May 15-19, OR. 
Deadline: March 16. The oldest & most presitigious 
forum for recognizing outstanding achievements in high 
definition production. The Int'l Electronic Cinema 
Festival provides a forum to promote & explore the cre- 
ative synergy between cinema & television, afforded by 
the use of digital high definition television & computer 
imagery, & it extends its scope to new forms of expres- 
sion such as interactive digital programs. It aims also to 
provide a venue & opportunity to negotiate int'l co-pro- 
ductions that use those advanced program production 
technologies. Programs must have been produced in Hi- 
Def & been completed as of 1998. Founded: 1987. Cats: 
TV, music video, feature, doc, short, experimental, com- 
mercial ads, industrials, sports. Formats: hi def. Preview 
on VHS. Contact: c/o DownStream, 1650 Naito Parkway, 
Portland, OR 97209; (503) 697-4901; fax: (503) 697- 
7231; info@iecf.org; www.iecf.org 

JOHNS HOPKINS FILM FESTIVAL, April 15-18, MD. 
Deadline: Jan. 5 (early); Jan. 28 (final). Annual fest pre- 
sented by Johns Hopkins Film Society, is a 4-day, 3- 
venue extravaganza, taking place on the Hopkins 
Homewood Campus during the legendary Spring Fair. 
Previous tests have drawn over 2,200 attendants, 
shown over 100 films, received a Mayor's Proclamation, 
was voted Baltimore Magazine's Best Film Event & 
received unprecedented East Coast coverage. Fest fea- 
tures panels, speakers, independent distributors & lots 
of parties. Founded: 1998. Cats: Feature, Short, 
Experimental, Comedy, doc, animation. Formats: 35mm, 
16mm, 3/4", 1/2", DV All video & DV Preview on VHS. 







40th Anniversary 

Celebration 

Gala Opening 

Sunday, March 10, 5pm 
featuring: 

ACADEMY AWARD WINNER John Nelson 
(Visual Effects, Gladiator) 

PERFORMANCE ARTIST Pat Oleszko 

15th anniversary tribute to 
FESTIVAL DIRECTOR Vicki Honeyman 



Monday, March 11 — 
Saturday, March 16 

Films-in-competition screenings 
throughout the week 
in the Main Theater. 

Curated programs, film retrospectives, 

seminars, filmmaker panel discussions 

in the ScreeningRoom 

* Special * 

Best of 40 Years: 
Festival Director's Picks 

Saturday, March 16, 8pm 

Housing: 

Ann Arbor Visitors Bureau 
1 (800)888-9487 -or- www.annarbor.org 

Tickets: 

aafilmfest@aol.com 

Program 8e Fest Information: 

www.aafilmfest.org —or— (734)995—5356 



At THE Michigan Theater 

603 E. Liberty St. 

in doumtown Ann Arbor 



January/February 2002 THE INDEPENDENT 55 



training 



digital/non-linear editing 



Beginning, intermediate, and 
advanced classes are offered 
monthly. 



The Wexner Center for the Arts 
is an Avid Authorized Education 
Center serving Ohio, Indiana, 
Michigan, Western Pennsylvania, 
and Kentucky. 

Call for more information 

Maria Troy, 674 292-7617 

wexner center for the arts 
the Ohio state university 
1871 north high street 
Columbus, Ohio 43210 
www.wexarts.org 



all in one productions 



WNA/w . a 1 11 n o n e-u s a . c o m 



high def/digital editing: 
Uncompressed Video 
Media 100 
Final Cut Pro 
After Effects 
Commotion Pro 
Protools 
Talented Editors 

support: 

HDCAM 24P/60i 

Digital Betacam 

Betacam SP 

DVCPRO/DVCAM/DV 

U-matic SP/S-VHS 

Hi-8/Video 8 

duplication/conversion: 
HD/ Digital Cloning 
Down Conversion 
Via HD-SDI/Firewire 
Time Code Burn-in 



High Def / Digital Cameras 

DP & Crew Available 

212.868.0028 




Entry Fee: Entry fees: $25 (early); $35 (final). Contact: 
Jason Shahinfar, 325 East University Parkway, 
Baltimore, MD 21218; (410) 889-8324; fax: (410) 516- 
5048; seether@jhu.edu; www.jhu.edu/~jhufilm/fest/ 

LAKE ARROWHEAD FILM FESTIVAL, May 2-5, CA. 
Deadline: March 17. Lake Arrowhead is also known as 
Hollywood's original playground. Also, the area incls. a 
beautiful four-screen theater, the Blue Jay Cinema, & 
many other possible screening sites, also a first class 
resort. Being only 90 min. from LA is a great asset for 
workshops as well as increase the attendance of Film 
Makers, Studio Executives & Distributors. Cats: Feature, 
Animation, Doc, Short. Awards: Awards will be given in 
each category. Formats: 35mm, 16mm, Beta, 1/2", 
8mm. Preview on VHS. Contact: Leonard Marcel, 16630 
Center Way, Guemeville, CA 95446; (707) 869-8264; 
filmfest@pe.net; www.arrowheadfilmfest.com 

LAKE PLACID FILM FORUM, Jun. 5-9, NY Deadline: Feb. 
15. The Lake Placid Film Forum is an intimate setting for 
filmmakers & film lovers to see films & discuss issues to 
content & the medium. The Forum screens over 60 films, 
presents forums, workshops, master classes & readings 
of screenplays, honors the lifetime achievement of a dis- 
tinguished filmmaker, & provides an array of opportuni- 
ties for teen filmmakers. Founded: 2000. Cats: Feature. 
Short, student, doc, animation. Awards: Silver Deer 
Audience Awards: Best Feature, Best Short, Best Doc; 
Adirondack Film Society Awards: Best Teen, Courage in 
Filmmaking. Formats: DV, DVD, 35mm, Beta, Beta SR 
Preview on VHS. Entry Fee: $25 (shorts only). Contact: 
Naj Wikoff, Director, RO. Box 489, Lake Placid, NY 12946; 
(518) 523-3456; fax: 523-4746; adkfilm@adolphia.net; 
www.lakeplacid-filmforum.org 

LOS ANGELES ASIAN PACIFIC FILM & VIDEO 
FESTIVAL, May 16-23, CA. Deadline: Dec. 14 (early); 
Jan. 11 (final). Fest established in 1983 to promote & 
present best in Asian Pacific cinema & has grown into a 
a major showcase presenting nearly 100 productions by 
Asian Pacific American & Asian Int'l media makers. 
Works by Asian & Pacific Americans w/ themes involv- 
ing, but not limited to, Asian Pacific American culture, 
history & experiences are encouraged. Cats: feature, 
doc, short, animation, experimental. Formats: super 8, 
16mm, 35mm, 3/4", Beta. Preview on VHS. Entry Fee: 
U.S. $30 (final); Int'l $40 (final). Contact: Fest Dir, c/o 
Visual Communications, 120 Judge John Also St., 
Basement Level, Los Angeles, CA 90012; (213) 680- 
4462 X. 68; fax: 687-4848; viscom@apanet.org; 
www.vconline.org/filmfest 

LOS ANGELES ITALIAN FILM FESTIVAL, April 23-27, 
CA. Deadline: Jan 31. Fourth annual fest is a unique full 
week of the best new films & film makers from Italy 
leading the Italian Cinema into the new millennium. 
LAIFA's mission is to introduce & promote new Italian 
movies to the Hollywood film community & to the gener- 
al public, while celebrating the classical Italian Cinema 
as well. Fest consists of competitions of the best Italian 
films of 2000-2001 in several cats in addition to special 
tributes & retrospective. Founded: 1998. Awards: The 
festival will present the LAIFA Award for Best Picture 
(Italian & Italian-American), Awards & Certificates for 
various placements & the People's Choice Award for the 
most popular film short & feature. Preview on VHS. Entry 
Fee; $50. Contact: Festival, 7270 Franklin Ave., #102, 



Los Angeles, CA 90046; (323) 850-7245; fax: 436-2928; 
info@italfilmfest.com; www.italfilmfest.com/ 

MAGNOLIA INDEPENDENT FILM FESTIVAL, Feb. 7-9, 
MS. Deadline: Jan. 18. Mag Fest keeps the independent 
spirit of cinema alive & well & moving forward in 
Mississippi. The first film fest in the state, the Magnolia 
Film Festival goes out of its way to present the best of 
independent films of all lengths & genres, also to treat 
participating filmmakers to a fabulous time. Founded: 
1997. Cats: Feature, Short, Doc, youth media, experi- 
mental, animation. Awards: Cash prizes plus "Mags" will 
be presented incl. three Grand Jury awards. Audience 
Award, Elena Zastawnik Memorial award for Best written 
Film & Festival Director's Award. Filmmakers who attend 
stay free. Formats: 16mm, 35mm, video, Beta. 1/2". 
Preview on VHS. Entry Fee: $10. Contact: Ron Tibbett, 
Fest Din , 2269 Waverly Dr. , West Point, MS 39773; 
(662) 494-5836; fax: (662) 494-9900; ron@magfilm- 
fest.com; www.magfilmfest.com 

MALIBU INT'L FILM FESTIVAL, August 16-23, CA. 
Deadline: March 15. The Malibu Film Foundation, a 
California non-profit organization was founded to create, 
develop, & produce the Malibu Int'l Film Festival. The 
eight-day competitive fest is made possible through 
local support, corporate sponsorship & the blood, sweat, 
& tears of independent filmmakers. The fest screens 
over forty independent feature, short & doc films from 
around the world. Events incl. an Opening Night Party & 
Fashion Show, auchons, raffles, film screenings, Q&A's, 
seminars, luncheons, dinners, test drives & Awards Gala 
Dinner Party. A portion of the proceeds from all events 
will benefit the local Mailbu Santa Monica Unified school 
district. Founded: 1999. Cats: feature, short, doc. 
Awards: Grand Prize (jury ballot): Directing Award (jury 
ballot); Audience Award (popular ballot); 
Cinematography Award (jury ballot); Screenwriter Award 
(jury ballot); Emerging Director Award (jury). Formats: 
16mm, 35mm, Beta, Beta SR DigiBeta. Preview on VHS. 
Entry Fee: $50 (fee is waived w/ valid student ID). 
Contact: Skye Wilson, 1501 S. Mam St. #205, Venice, 
CA 90291; (310) 317-9111; fax: (310) 581-8366; 
info@malibufilmfest.org; www.malibufilmfest.org 

MINNEAPOLIS/ST PAUL INT'L FILM FESTIVAL, April 6- 
20, MN, Deadline: Feb. 1. Annual event is the largest event 
in the Upper Midwest, bringing in more foreign & American 
ind. films to MN than any other film org. or event. Program 
is predominantly foreign, focusing on Scandanavian & 
Eastern Europe films, especially those w/ politically rele- 
vant themes. Emerging filmmakers section isshowcasefor 
self-distributed, ind. filmmakers; entries are selected by a 
jury in cats: short fiction, short doc & feature doc. 
Founded: 1982. Cats: feature, short, doc, animation, 
experimental, student, family, children. Awards: Emerging 
Filmmaker awards & Audience "Best of the Fest" Awards. 
Formats: 35mm, 16mm, Beta SP 1/2". Preview on VHS. 
Entry Fee: $35 (shorts, under 40 min): $50 (features). 
Contact: Univ Film Society, 2331 University Ave SE, Ste. 
130B . Minneapolis. MN 55414; (612) 627-4431; fax: 
627-4111; filmsoc@tc.umn.edu; www.ufilm.org 

NEW/PORT BEACH INT'L FILM FESTIVAL, April 11-19, 

CA. Deadline: Jan. 15. Approximately 75 feature length & 
25 short films chosen to compete for one of 10 awards. 
If preferred, films may be excluded from competition 
&/or exhibited in the "special screening" section of the 



56 THE INDEPENDENT January/Fehruan' 2002 



program. All films must have optical (not magnetic) 
sound. Films must be in English or w/ English subtitles. 
Formats: 70mm, 35mm, 16mm. Preview on VHS. Entry 
Fee: $50 (feature); $40 (short). Contact: Joseph 
Mahoney, 4540 Campus Drive, Newport Beach, CA 
92660; 949-253-2880; fax: 949-253-2881; nbff@pac- 
bell.net; www.newportbeachfilmfest.com 

NEWPORT INT'L FILM FESTIVAL, June 4-9, Rl. 
Deadline: Feb. 15. Founded: 1998. Cats: Feature, Doc, 
Short, Animation. Formats: 16mm, 35mm, Beta SR Entry 
Fee: $30 (shorts); $40 (features & docs) . Contact: 
Nancy Donahoe, Festival director, PO Box 1229, Old 
Chelsea Satation, New York, NY 101113; (401) 261- 
1054; fax: (401) 245-5011; newportff@aol.com; 
www.newportfilmfest.com/ 

ONE SHOW INTERACTIVE, NY Deadline: Jan. 31. Fest 
seeks works that set a new standard in using your media 
to communicate an advertising message or build a 
brand. A panel of judges, made up of 35 creative heads 
of top Interactive agencies from 10 countries look at con- 
cept, copy, art, design, functionality & innovation. All 
work must have gone live between January 1 of previous 
yr. & January 21 of current yean Download entry forms at 
website. Cats: Banners, Beyond the Banner, Promotional 
Advertising, Corporate Image — Consumer, Corporate 
Image - Business to Business, E-Commerce, Integrated 
Branding Campaign, Broadband Web sites or portals, 
Self-Promotion, Nonprofit Organizations, College 
Competition. Preview on VHS. Entry Fee: $100, $40 
Student. Contact: The One Club, 32 East 21st St. , New 
York, NY 10010; 212-979-1900; fax: 212-979-5006; 
interactive@oneclub.com; www.oneclub.com 

OUTFEST: THE LOS ANGELES GAY & LESBIAN FILM 
FESTIVAL, July 11-22, CA. Deadline: Jan. 31 (early); 
March 31 (late). The mission of OUTFEST is to build 
bridges among audiences, filmmakers & the entertain- 
ment industry through the exhibition of high-quality gay, 
lesbian, bisexual & transgender themed films & videos, 
highlighted by an annual fest, that enlighten, educate & 
entertain the diverse communities of Southern 
California. Outfest also offers a weekly screening series 
yr round, as well as a screenwriting competition. 
Founded: 1982. Cats: Feature, Doc, Short, Gay/Lesbian, 
Animation, Experimental. Awards: Fourteen awards 
ranging from $500 to $2,000. Formats: 35mm, 16mm, 
3/4", 1/2". Preview on VHS. Entry Fee: Features (over 60 
min.): $20 by Jan. 31; $25 by Mar.31. Shorts: $10 by 
Jan. 31; $15 by Mar31. Contact: Festival, 1125 
McCadden Place, Ste. 235, Los Angeles, CA 90038; 
(323) 960-9200; fax: (323) 960 2397; outfest@out- 
fest.org; www.outfest.org 

REELING: CHICAGO LESBIAN & GAY INT'L FILM 
FESTIVAL, Summer, IL. Deadline: Jan. 18. Annual fest 
seeks wide variety of lesbian, gay, bisexual, & transgen- 
dered films & videos for second oldest fest of its kind in 
the world. All genres & lengths accepted. Founded: 
1981. Cats: Any style or genre. Feature, Experimental, 
Animation, Short, doc. Awards: Cash prizes, awarded by 
category, totalling $3000. Formats: 35mm, 16mm, 3/4", 
Beta SR Preview on VHS. Entry Fee: $15 for first entry, 
$10 for each additional entry. Contact: c/o Chicago 
Filmmakers, 5243 North Clark, Chicago, IL, USA 60640; 
(773) 293-1447; fax: 293-0575; reeling@chicagofilm- 
makers.org; www.chicagofilmmakers.org 



ROCHESTER INT'L FILM FESTIVAL, May 2-4, NY 
Deadline: Nov. 30, 2001 (early); Feb. 15 (final). Annnual 
fest is the longest-running film event dedicated to the art 
of short film & video. Each fest incls. a wide variety of 
original & imaginative works by film students, advanced 
amateurs, & professional filmmakers from all over the 
world. Open to all films & videos completed since Jan. 1 
of previous yr & under 30 min. in length. Founded: 1959. 
Cats: any style or genre, short. No music videos or 
installations. Awards: hand-made Shoestring Trophies. 
Formats: 16mm, 1/2", 3/4", 35mm, DigiBeta. Preview on 
VHS. Entry Fee: $20 (early); $30 (final). Contact: Movies on 
a Shoestring, Box 17746, Rochester, NY 14617; 
(716) 243-7411; President@RochesterFilmFest.org; 
www.RochesterFilmFest.org 

ROSEBUD FILM & VIDEO FESTIVAL, March 23-24, 
Awards Ceremony in April, DC. Deadline: Jan. 20. 
Rosebud was formed in 1990 to promote independent 
film & video in the Washington, DC area. The goal is to 
honor the "innovative, experimental, unusual or deeply 
personal" in creative film & video making. This competi- 
tion accepts works completed or first released from 
January of previous yr & January of current year Eligible 
entrants are producers or directors who are current res- 
idents of Washington, DC, Maryland, or Virginia (excep- 
tions are made for students temporarily living out of the 
area or those away on work assignment). Works accept- 
ed in all cats, any style or genre. Works-in- 
progress/trailers/promos are also welcome if they stand 
on their own. Twenty nominees & five winners, incl. a 
Best of Show are chosen by an independent panel of 
judges. Awards incl. a trophy, cash, multiple area the- 
atrical & television screenings, & equipment & supplies. 
Founded: 1990. Cats: any style or genre. Awards: 
Awards incl. cash & tape stock.. Formats: 35mm, 
16mm, Beta SR Preview on VHS. Entry Fee: Entry fee 
incls. a one-yr membership to Arlington Community 
Television, the sponsoring organization). Contact: Chris 
Griffin or Jackie Steven, Festival Directors, 2701-C 
Wilson Blvd., Arlington, VA 22201; (703) 524-2388; fax: 
(703) 908-9239; Chris@Channel33.org; rosebud- 
wdc@aol.com; www.rosebudact.org 

SAN FRANCISCO INT'L LESBIAN & GAY FILM FESTIVAL, 

June 14-24, CA. Deadline: Jan. 4, Jan. 24 (late). The 
SFILGFF is committed to screening the best in Lesbian, 
Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Film. Many works pre- 
miered in fest go on to be programmed or distributed 
nat'lly & int'lly. Rough cuts accepted for preview if sub- 
mitted on 1/2". Founded: 1976. Cats: any style or genre. 
Awards: Frameline Award, Audience Award, Dockers 
Khakis 1st Feature Aaward ($10,000). Fest produced by 
Frameline, nonprofit arts organization dedicated to gay & 
lesbian media arts. Formats: 35mm, 16mm (w/ Optical 
Track ONLY), 1/2", Beta. VHS- NTSC/PAL. Entry Fee: 
$15-25. Contact: Jennifer Morris, Co-Director, Frameline, 
346 9th St., San Francisco, CA 94103; (415) 703-8650; 
fax: 861-1404; info@frameline.org; www.frameline.org 

SANTA CLARITA INT'L FILM FESTIVAL, March 7-15, CA. 
Deadline: Screenplay: Jan. 12; Film: Jan. 19; Student: 
Feb. 9. SCIFF is rapidly becoming Southern California's 
premier showcase for independently-produced socially- 
responsible film entertainment. Founded: 1994. Cats: 
script, feature, doc, short, animation, student, youth 
media, family, children, educational. Awards: Awards, 




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Trophies, Certificates, Formats: 1/2", Beta SR 35mm, 
Preview on VHS ONLY. Entry Fee: Film: $100/ $50 
Screenplay: $60/$45. Contact: Patte Dee, PO Box 
801507, Santa Clarita, CA, US 91380; 661-257-3131; 
fax: 661-257-8989; pattedee@cs,com; sciff.org 

SUPER SUPER 8 FILM TOURS, touring fast, CA. 
Deadline: Feb, 28. Fest takes your film on a wodd tour, 
w/ live musical accompaniment for silent films. Cats: 
experimental, feature, doc, animation, travelogue, 
garage sale find. Awards: Honorarium & prizes awarded. 
Formats: 16mm, super 8. Preview on VHS. Entry Fee: 
$20. Contact: Paolo Davanzo, Fest Din, 15 Mann, Irvine, 
CA 92612; (213) 413-8783; fax: (949) 551-9068; poly- 
esterprince@hotmail.com; www.polyesterprince.com 

TAOS TALKING PICTURE FESTIVAL, April 11-14, NM. 
Deadline: Ian. 15. Established as an artists' colony more 
than a century ago, Taos is known for its eclectic mixture 
of cultures, traditions & philosophies. It is in this light 
that fest organizers program over 150 new indie films & 
videos, incl. features, documentaries, videos & shorts 
during its four-day event Highlights include: Tributes; 
Latino & Native American programs, as well as compre- 
hensive Media Literacy Forum w/ panel discussions, 
workshops & demonstrations focusing on the state of 
media. Entries should have been completed w/in 18 
months of fest & should be New Mexico premieres. Fest 
features Teen Media Conference. Cats: feature, doc, 
short, experimental, animation, music video, any style or 
genre, student. Awards: Melies Short Film Award; Land 
Grant award: 5 acres to one film (over 70 Min.)that 
applies a fresh approach to storytelling and/or cinemat- 
ic medium. Formats: 35mm, 16mm, 3/4", 1/2". Beta SP 
S-VHS. Preview on VHS. Entry Fee: $15-$40 (no fee for 
int'l entries). Contact: Kelly Clement, Dir of 
Programming, 7217 NDCBU, 1337 Gusdorf Rd. Ste. B, 
Taos, NM 87571; (505) 751-0637; fax: 751-7385; 
ttpix@ttpix.org; www.ttpix.org 

UNITED STATES SUPER 8MM FILM & DIGITAL VIDEO 
FESTIVAL, February 15-17, NJ. Deadlmo: Jan. 18. 
Annual fest encourages any genre, but work must have 
predommantly originated on Super 8 film or hi-8 or digi- 
tal video. Festival mandate is to spread the 8mm & dig- 
ital word. Toward that end the Rutgers Film Co- 
op/NJMAC has sponsored seven touring programs, 
culled from fest winners for the past several years, 
which have travelled extensively & seen new audiences. 
Cats: any style or genre. Awards: $2,500 in cash & 
prizes; selected winners go on Best of Fest Int'l Tour 
Formats: Hi8, super 8, 16mm, 8mm, 1/2", 3/4", DV 
Preview on VHS. Entry Fee: $35 (check or money order 
payable to Rutgers Film Co-op/NJMAC. Do not send 
cash). Contact: Al Nigrin, Rutgers Film Co-op/New 
Jersey Media Arts Center, 131 George St., 108 Ruth 
Adams BIdg-Douglass Campus, Program in Cinema 
Studies, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ 08901; 
(732) 932-8482; fax: 932-1935; njmac@aol.com; 
www.njfilmfest.com 

UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA IRVINE HUMAN RIGHTS 
FILM FESTIVAL, March 2-3, CA. Deadline: Feb. 28. 
annual fest is seeking films dealing w/ human rights or 
int'l relations issues Cats: feature, doc, short, any style 
or genre. Awards: Honorarium Awarded. Formats: Beta, 
DV Preview on VHS. Entry Fee: No Entry Fees. Contact: 
UCI Human Rights Film Festival, 15 Mann St, Irvine, CA 



92612; (949) 786-6387; polyesterprince@ 
hotmail.com; www.polyesterprince.com 

UNIVERSITY OF NORTH ALABAMA TELEVISION & FILM 
FESTIVAL, April 18-20, AL. Deadline: Jan. 15 (regular); 
March 18 (ages 9-12). Annual Fest established by 
George Lindsey who has had a long, illustrious career on 
the Broadway stage & in television & film in New York & 
Hollywood. Fest has a special category dedicated to 
childeren ages 9-12 (the Lion Club category), plus the 
regular competition for college & high school students, 
faculty members & professionals. Only works completed 
in the previous two years are eligable. Cats: feature, 
short. Short Doc, music video, student Awards: Cash 
prizes awarded in each category. Preview on VHS. Entry 
Fee: $50; $25 (Student); $10 (Lion Club). Contact: Lisa 
Damell / UNA TV & Film Festival, UNA Box 5151, Florence, 
AL 35632; (256) 765-4592; filmfest@unanovuna.edu; 
www2.una.edu/univ.relations/filmfest/festindex.htm 

USA FILM FESTIVAL / NAT'L SHORT FILM & VIDEO 
COMPETITION, April 25-May 2, T^. Deadline: March 1. 
Noncompetitive fest showcases new US & int'l features & 
shorts, tributes & world premieres. Incorporates the Nat'l 
Short Film & Video Competition, a competitive component, 
which offers cash prizes. Founded: 1969. Cats: short, fea- 
ture. Awards: Incl. $1,000 prizes for narrative, nonfiction, 
animation & exp. plus $250 Jury Awards. Formats: 35mm, 
16mm, 3/4". 1/2", Beta SP DigiBeta. Preview on VHS 
(NTSC). Entry Fee: no entry fee. Contact: Ann Alexander, 
Managing Director 6116 N. Central Expressway Ste. 105, 
Dallas, TX 75206; (214) 821-6300; fax: 821-6364; 
info@usafilmfestcom; www,usafilmfestcom 

Foreign 

ALGARVE INT'L FILM FESTIVAL, May 17-27, Portugal, 
Deadline: March 15, Competitive, shorts-only fest seeks 
works under 30 min. Founded: 1972. Cats: doc, anima- 
tion, fiction, short. Awards: prizes totaling $20,000, 
Formats: 35mm only 35mm. Preview on VHS, Entry Fee: 
no entry fee. Contact: Carlos Manuel. General Dir, Box 
8091. Lisbon Codex, Portugal; Oil 351 21 851 36 15; 
fax:351 21 852 11 50; algarvefilmfest@mail.telepac.pt; 
www.algarvefiimfest.com 

INSIDE OUT TORONTO LESBIAN AND GAY FILM & 
VIDEO FESTIVAL. May 16-26. Canada. Deadline: Jan. 
15. Fest is an exciting & important venue for queer film- 
makers from around the world. It hosts the largest les- 
bian & gay fest in Canada & one of the largest in the 
wortd. Previous years tests screened 300 plus films & 
videos in 84 programs w/ sold out screenings. Fest has 
assisted in securing theatrical & broadcast distribution 
for several films & videos through relationships w/ 
Canadian film & TV entities. Fest is not only a highly 
anticipated cultural event renowned for its hospitality & 
integrity in programming, but an excellent opportunity to 
network w/ other independent film & video makers & 
interested industry representatives. Founded: 1991. 
Cats: feature, doc, short, animation, experimental, music 
Video, student, youth media, family children, TV, Awards: 
Awards are given for both local & int'l work. The Bulloch 
Award for Best Canadien Work, the Akau Award for Best 
Lesbian Short, the Cruiseline Award for Best gay Male 
Short, & the Chades St Video Award for Best Emerging 
Toronto Artist Audience Awards incl, the Showcase 



58 THE INDEPENDENT January/February 2002 



Award for Best Feature, the Ellen Flanders Award for 
Best Doc & the Mikey Award for Best Short. In all, more 
than $5,000 in cash & prizes is awarded annually. 
Formats: 35mm, 16mm, Beta. Preview on VHS. Entry 
Fee: No entry fee. Contact: Inside Out, 401 Richmond St. 
West, Ste. 219, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5V 3A8; (416) 
977-6847; fax: 977-8025; programmer@insideout.on.ca; 
www.insideout.on.ca/ 

INT'L FILM FESTIVAL INNSBRUK, May 29-June 2, 
Austria. Deadline: March 31. IFFI presents over films 
from & about Africa, South America, & Asia. Submitted 
films must be Austrian premiere, w/ no screenings any- 
where prior to May 29, 2002. Founded: 1992. Cats: 
Feature, Doc, Short, Animation. Awards: Tyrol Award 
(5,000 E); Cine Tirol Distributor's Prize (3,000 E); 
Audience Award (1,000 E); French Cultural Institute's 
Francophone Award (1,000 E). Formats: 35mm, 16mm. 
Preview on VHS PAL. Entry Fee: none. Contact: Raimund 
Obkircher, Otto Preminger Institute, Museumstrasse 31, 
Box 704, Innsbruck, Austria A-6020; Oil 43 512 57 85 
00-14; fax: Oil 43 512 57 85 00-13; ffi.cinemato- 
graph@tirolkultur.at; www.a2on.com/iffi 

INT'L FILM FESTIVAL OF FINE ARTS, October 4-9, 
Hungary. Deadline: March 31. This test presents film & 
video works that interpret pieces of art by means of cin- 
ematographic methods or deal w/ the lives of artists or 
artist groups. Also welcome works that explore tenden- 
cies or periods of fine arts or their social context. All 
films use artistic methods or instruments. Held simulta- 
neously w/ the Film Market, which gets Hungarian, 
Central & Eastern European films to distributors & 
exhibitors in foreign markets. Festival provides free 
accommodations for accepted filmmakers. Cats: doc, 
short, experimental, animation. Preview on VHS PAL (not 
retumed). Entry Fee: no fee. Contact: Istvan Demeter, 
Managing Director, Tisza Mozi, Ltd., Templom u. 4., 
Szolnok, Hungary 5000; 36 56 511 270; fax: 36 56 420 
038; tiszamozi@mail.externet.hu; www.tiszamozi.hu 

INT'L FILM FESTIVAL OF KERALA, March 29-April 5, 
India. Deadline: January 31. This annual test is produced 
by the Kerala State Chalachitra Academy under the 
Ministry of Cultural Affairs, Govt, of Kerala. Chalachitra 
literally means motion picture, & the Academy is devot- 
ed to promoting the best in the visual medium. IFFK is a 
celebration of the best the medium has to offer. 'To see, 
to feel, & to feel to think', is the motto of IFFK. Founded: 
1994. Cats: feature, short, doc, animation, student. 
Awards: Suvarna Chakoram Awards for Best Feature; 
Best Director; Special Jury Award for Cinematic Art; & 
Audience Prize for Best Film. Formats: 70mm, 35mm, 
16mm, Beta, Beta SP U-matic. VHS (PAL/NTSC/SECAM). 
Entry Fee: none. Contact: AV Alikoya Exec. Dir, Kerala 
State Chalachitra Academy, Elankom Gardens, 
Vellayambalam, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India 
695010; Oil 91 471 310 323; fax: 91 471 310 322; 
chitram@md3.vsnl.net.in; www.keralafilm.com 

INT'L FILM FESTIVAL OF URUGUAY, Mar 23 - Apr. 27, 
Uruguay. Deadline: Jan. 31. Annual fast devoted to short & 
feature length, doc, fiction, experimental, Latin American 
& int'l films, w/ purpose of promoting film quality & 
human & conceptual values. Ind. test aims at being frame 
for meetings & discussions of regional projects & of mutu- 
al interest. Fest has 4 sections: Int'l Full Length Film 



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Show; Int'l Doc & Experimental Film Show; Info Show; 
Espacio Uruguay. Films should be subtitled, have Spanish 
version, or have a list of texts or dialogues translated into 
Spanish or in English, French or Portuguese for us to 
translate. Films wishing to compete must be completed 
after Jan. 1 of prior year. Founded: 1982. Cats: feature, 
doc, short, experimental, animation, student. Awards: 
Best Film; Jury Prize; Opera Prima Prize. Formats: 35mm, 
16mm, S-VHS, U-matic. Preview on VHS. Entry Fee: No 
entry fee. Contact: Manuel Martinez Carril, Lorenzo 
Camelli 1311, Montevideo, Uruguay 11200; Oil 5982 
408 2460; 409 5795; fax: 5982 409 4572; 
cinemuy@chasque.apc.org; www.cinemateca.org.uy 

IT'S ALL TRUE INT'L DOC FILM FESTIVAL. April 11-21, 
Brazil. Deadline: Jan. 15. A leading forum for non fiction- 
al productions in Latin America. Fest aims to promote 
the doc film & video form & to increase the infl debate 
& cooperation on the genre. Founded: 1996. Cats: doc. 
Formats: 35mm. 16mm, Beta. Preview on VHS. Entry 
Fee: No entry fee. Contact: Amir Labaki, Festival Dir, 
Associacao Cultural Kinoforum, Rua Simao Alvares, 
784/2, Sao Paolo - SP Brasil 05417.020; Oil 55 11 
3062 9601: fax: 55 11 3062 9601; itsalltrue@kinofo- 
rum.org; www.itsalltrue.com.br 

MONTREAL INT'L FESTIVAL OF CINEMA & NEW MEDIA. 

June 5-15, Canada. Deadline: March 14. This fest 
replaces two events well known in the Cinema World: 
The Int'l Festival of New Cinema, & the Infl Short Film 
Festival. It aims to support & promote bold & innovative 
film & media projects. Cats: Short. Installation. TV, Doc, 
Animation. Experimental. Discovery. Exploration, 
Metropolis, Retrospectives, Multimedia. Awards: 
Festival is non-competitive, but prizes in cash will be 
awarded by the public & the press for selected films in 
the Discovery section. In addition, there will be three 
competitive sections: Short. Animation. & Video. 
Formats: CD-ROM, 35mm, 16mm. Preview on VHS. Entry 
Fee: $40 Feature. $20 Short. Contact; Festival. 3668 
Boulevard Saint-Laurent, Montreal, Quebec. Canada 
H2X 2V4; 514.843.4725; fax: 514.843.4631; montre- 
alfest@fcmm.com; www.fcmm.com 

MONTREAL JEWISH FILM FESTIVAL, May 9-16, 
Canada. Deadline: February 15. Annual fest showcases 
Jewish films from around the world. Founded: 1995. 
Cats: feature, doc. short, animation, experimental, chil- 
dren. Formats: 1/2". 35mm. 16mm. Beta SR VHS (Beta 
SP). Preview on VHS. Entry Fee: no entry fee. Contact: 
Susan Alper Dir., 352 Emery St. 3rd FI., Montreal, 
Quebec, Canada H2X IJl; (514) 987-9795; fax: 987- 
3736; fest@mjff.qc.ca; www.mjff.qc.ca 

DBERHAUSEN INT'L SHORT FILM FESTIVAL, May 2-7, 

]ermany. Deadline: Jan. 15. The world's oldest short film 
'est offers a forum for aesthetic & technological innova- 
:ion & reflection. There are no limits as to form or genre 
out films in the Int'l & Children's & Youth Competitions 
Tiust not exceed 35 min. & have been made after Jan. 1 
)f the previous year. All submitted works must be viewed 
Dy an independent selection committee appointed by the 
■est. Approx. 70 titles will be selected by the Int'l 
;;ompetition. Founded: 1954. Cats: Short. Any style or 
^enre. Children, Music Video. Awards; incl. Grand Prize, 
lury of Int'l Film Critics award. Works will compete for 
Drizes worth a total of 75,000 DEM (approx. $20,000). 
-ormats: 35mm. 16mm. 8mm. S-VHS. Beta SP/PAL. U- 



60 THE INDEPENDENT January/February 2002 



matic (PAL, SECAM, NTSC). Preview on VHS. Entry Fee: 
No entry fee. Contact: Melanie Piguel, Coordinator, 
Grillostr 34, Oberhausen, Germany D-46045; Oil 49 
208 825 2652; fax: 49 208 825 5413; info@kurzfilm- 
tage.de; www.kurzfilmtage.de 

QUEER CITY CINEMA, May (biannual), Canada. 
Deadline: Jan. 15. Queer City Cinema is the largest & old- 
est ongoing lesbian & gay film & video test between 
British Columbia & Ontario. Since 1996, the Pest has 
curated a biannual lesbian & gay film & video test which 
programs works by independent queer artists that are 
conceptual, playful, innovative & provocative & which 
ultimately propose the idea that identity is not fixed but 
fluid, multiple & contradictory. Cats: feature, doc, short, 
animation, experimental, script, music video, student, 
youth media, family, children, TV, installation, any style 
or genre. Pormats: 35mm, 16mm, 3/4", 1/2", S-VHS, 
Beta SP super 8, 8mm. Entry Pee: No entry fee. Contact: 
Gary Varro, 2236 Osier Street, Regina, Saskatchewan, 
Canada S4P 1W8; 306-757-6637; fax: 306-757-6632; 
queercitycinema@sk.sympatico.ca 

SINGAPORE INT'L FILM FESTIVAL, April 11-27, 
Singapore. Deadline: Jan. 31. PIAPP-recognized invita- 
tional test offers non-competitive & competitive section 
for Asian cinema, w/ award for best Asian feature. Open 
to features completed after Jan. 1 of preceding yr. Entries 
must be Singapore premieres. About 120 features shown 
each yr, along w/ 60 shorts & videos from 35 countries. 
Main section shows 35mm; all other formats accepted in 
fringe programs. Several US ind films have been featured 
in past editions. Cats: Short, Feature, Doc, Animation. 
Formats: 35mm, 16mm, 3/4", 1/2". Preview on VHS. 
Entry Fee: No entry fee. Contact: Philip Cheah, Festival 
Director, 45A Keong Saik Rd., Singapore, Singapore 
089136; Oil 65 738 7567; fax: Oil 65 738 7578; film- 
fest@pacific.net.sg; www.filmfest.org.sg 

SYDNEY FILM FESTIVAL, June 7-21, Australia. Deadline: 
Feb. 18. This major PIAPP-recognized event is one of 
world's oldest (over 45 years old) & leading int'l show- 
case for new work screening around 200 films. 
Noncompetitive int'l program incls. features & documen- 
tariess; experimental works; retrospective; competition 
for Australian shorts; late shows & forums w/ visiting 
directors. All Australian distributors & TV buyers attend. 
Pest has enthusiastic & loyal audience & is an excellent 
opportunity for publicity & access to Australian markets. 
Pest conducts audience survey, w/ results provided to 
participating filmmakers; results have good deal of influ- 
ence w/ Australian distributors. Entries must have been 
completed w/in previous 18 months & be Australian pre- 
mieres. Entry open to features, docs, shorts (under 30 
min.) & videos from around the world. Cats: short, 
experimental, doc, feature, retro, . Awards: Awards for 
Australian-produced short films (under 60 min.), docs & 
best European feature only. Formats: 70mm, 35mm, 
16mm, Beta SP (PAL). Preview on VHS. Entry Pee: No 
entry fee. Filmmakers wishing their tapes returned must 
pay a fee of $20 (Aus) to cover the cost of return 
postage; use int'l bank draft, personal checks not 
accepted. Contact: Jenny Neighbour, Box 950/405 Glebe 
Point Road, Glebe NSW 2037, Australia; Oil 61 2 9660 
3844; fax: 61 2 9692 8793; info@sydfilm-fest.com.au; 
www.sydfilm-fest.com.au 



TOKYO INT'L LESBIAN & GAY FILM FESTIVAL, July 18-22, 
Japan. Deadline: March 1. Annual event is the largest les- 
bian & gay film test in Asia. Festival is major event in Tokyo 
cultural scene & receives nat'l & int'l media coverage. 
Pounded: 1991. Cats: feature, doc, short, animation, exper- 
imental, music video, student, TV. Formats: 16mm, 35mm, 
Beta SP 1/2", DV Preview on VHS (NTSC or PAL). Entty Pee: 
No Entty Pee. Contact Sarah Teasley, 5-24-16 #601 
Nakano, Nakano-ku, Tokyo, Japan 164-0001; Oil 81 3 
5380 5760 ; fax: Oil 81 3 5380 5767; efaison@ucla.edu, 
lgff@tokyo.office.ne.jp; www.genderne.jp/L-GFF/ 

TORONTO JEWISH FILM FESTIVAL, April 20-28, 
Canada. Deadline: Feb. 1. Second largest Jewish film 
test in North America. Fest is devoted to chronicling the 
diversity of Jewish life & experiences from around the 
wodd. Well-supported by the Toronto Jewish community, 
fest had attendance of 15,000 last year. Founded: 1993. 
Cats: feature, doc, short. Formats: Beta SR 16mm, 
35mm, VHS (Secam, PAL). Preview on VHS. Entry Fee: no 
entry fee. Contact: Shiomo Schwartzberg, Dir. of 
Programming, 17 Madison Ave., Toronto, Ontario, 
Canada M5R 2S2; (416) 324-8226; fax: 324-8668; 
tjff@interlog.com; www.tjff.com 

TURIN INT'L FESTIVAL OF LESBIAN & GAY FILMS, April 
24-Mayl, Italy. Deadline: Jan. 31. One of the longest- 
running int'l gay & lesbian events. Entries should be by 
lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender filmmakers or address 
related themes & issues. Competition section divided 
between 3 juries: doc, long feature & short feature. 
Panorama section features new int'l productions. 
Pounded: 1986. Cats: doc, feature, short, TV, experimen- 
tal, animation. Awards: Ottavio Mai Award presented to 
Best Feature in competition worth $1500.. Formats: 
3/4", 1/2", 35mm, 16mm, Beta SR Preview on VHS. Entry 
Pee: no entry fee. Contact: Angelo Acerbi, Head program- 
mer, Piazza San Carlo 161, 10123 Torino, Italy; 390 11 
534 888; fax: 390 11 535 796; glfilmfest@ 
assioma.com; www.turinglfilmfest.com 

VUES D'AFRIQUE, April 19 - 27, Canada. Deadline: Mid- 
February. Fest, founded in 1983, is an important showcase 
for films from Africa & diaspora. Intended to familiarize 
Canadian & North American audiences w/ African & Creole 
productions & promote audiovisual industries in developing 
countries. Over 55,000 attendees. Categories include: 
African Panorama, Creole Images, Canadian Views, Ecrans 
Nord-Sud, & Videoclips. Expositions, info kiosks, music, 
dance, literature. Pest also travels to various cities in 
Canada. Founded: 1983. Cats: Feature, Doc, Short, 
African/diaspora, animation, TV. Awards: Various Awards. 
Formats: 35mm, 16mm, Beta SP Preview on VHS. Entry 
Pee: $6 (Canadian). Contact: Gerard Le Chene, 67 rue St. 
Catherine Quest, 5eme etage, Montreal, Quebec, Canada 
H2X 1Z7; (514) 284-3322; fax: (514) 845-0631; 
info@vuesdafrique.org; www.vuesdafrique.org 

YORKTON SHORT FILM & VIDEO FESTIVAL, May 11-14, 
Canada. Deadline: Feb. 10 (postmark). Longest running 
fest of its kind in Canada. Awards avail, in 18 genre cats, 
9 craft cats & 4 int'l cats. Festival incls. public screen- 
ings, mini cinema, workshops & activities. Cats: Doc, 
Children, short. Formats: 1/2", 16mm, Beta SR Beta. 
VHS. Entry Pee: CAN $75. Contact: Festival, 49 Smith St. 
E., Yorkton, SK, Canada S3N DH4; (306) 782-7077; fax: 
(306) 782-1550; info@yorktonshortfilm.org; www.york- 
tonshortfilm.org 



NAATA MEDIA FUND 



With support from the Corporation for 
Public Broadcasting, the National Asian 
American Telecommunications Association 
(NAATA) provides production and 
completion funds for Asian American film 
and video projects that have potential for 
national public television broadcast. 

RECENT MEDIA FUND HIGHLIGHTS 

ANCESTORS IN THE AMERICAS by Loni Ding 

THE DEBUT by Gene Cajayon 

DREAM CATCHER by Ed Radtke 

FIRST PERSON PLURAL 
by Deann Borshay Liem 

THE FLIP SIDE by Rod Pulido 

RABBIT IN THE MOON 
by Emiko Omori 

REGRET TO INFORM by Barbara 
Sonneborn and Janet Cole 

ROOTS IN THE SAND by Jaysari Hart 

THE SPLIT HORN 

by Taggart Siegel and Jim McSilver 

TURBANS by Erika Surat Andersen 





A^necK ««« i:ne fnmmaKers tiOmers? 
naatanet.org or call (415) 863-0814 





"Cost effective 
and easy to operate. 
The EZ FX system is a 
great way to get that big 
budget look. Great for film, 
video & multi- cam productions.' 

Call or visit our website 
for a FREE Video Demo. 

1.800.541.5706 
www.ezfx.com 

Int. 407.877.2335 



January/February 2002 THE INDEPENDENT 61 



(Z.J zj'j.-'\ssj.^^ 



NOTICES OF RELEVANCE TO AIVF MEMBERS ARE LISTED 
FREE OF CHARGE AS SPACE PERMITS. THE INDEPENDENT 
RESERVES THE RIGHT TO EDIT FOR LENGTH AND MAKES 
NO GUARANTEES ABOUT REPETITIONS OF A GIVEN NOTICE. 
LIMIT SUBMISSIONS TO 60 WORDS & INDICATE HOW LONG 
INFO WILL BE CURRENT DEADLINE; 1ST OF THE MONTH, 
TWO MONTHS PRIOR TO COVER DATE (E.G., FEB. 1 FOR 
APR. ISSUE). COMPLETE CONTACT INFO (NAME, ADDRESS 
& PHONE) MUST ACCOMPANY ALL NOTICES. SEND TO: 
N0TICES@AIVF.ORG. WE TRY TO BE AS CURRENT AS POS- 
SIBLE, BUT DOUBLE-CHECK BEFORE SUBMIHING TAPES 
OR APPLICATIONS. AIVF MEMBERS CAN SEARCH THESE 
AND OTHER NOTICES AT VIA AN INTERACTIVE RESOURCE 
DIRECTORY AT WWW.AIVFORG. 



Competitions 



AMERICAN CINEMA FOUNDATION'S EIGHT ANNUAL 
SCREENWRITING COMPETITION: Founded to nurture and 
reward television and freature film projects which address 
fundamental social values, support and stranghthen the 
concepts of the common good and common culture, and 
promote democratic pluralism. This themed, juried com- 
petition is designed to elicit scripts which are suitable for 
either theatrical or television production and which tell a 
positive story. First place winner receives $5,000 cash 
reward. Theme for 2002 is THE PURSUIT OF EXCELLENCE. 
Soliciting character driven scripts that deal with the 
human pursuit of excellence. Deadline is March 31, 2002. 
For more information and entry form for the Eight Annual 
Screenwriting Competition, visit website www.cine- 
mafoundation.com or contact office: (310) 286-9420, fax, 
(310) 286-7914 or e-mail acinema@cinemafounda- 
tion.com 

AUSTIN FILM FESTIVAL PRIME TIME COMPETITION: 

Call for entries. Two cats: sitcom & drama (based on a 
pre-existing show). Awards: $1,500 for each category 
winner. Airfare compensation up to $500, hotel compen- 
sation up to $500, VIP pass to Heart of Film Screenwriters 
Conference (October 11-18), & AFF bronze typewriter 
award for each category winner. Entry fee: $25. Deadline: 
April 15 (postmark). Contact: (512) 478-4795 

CINEMARENO: March, NV. Deadline: Feb 1. A year-round 
festival of independent films and videos, showcasing nar- 
rative feature films and shorts with high artistic and enter- 
tainment values. Special quarterly screenings focus on 
new, undistributed works. Formats: 16mm, 35mm, Beta- 
SR DV. Preview on VMS. Entry fee: $20. Contact: 
CinemaReno, PO. Box 5372, Reno, NV 89531. E-mail: cin- 
emareno@excite.com. Entry form and guidelines at: 
www.cinemareno.org 

COLUMBUS SCREENPLAY DISCOVERY AWARDS: To 

bridge gap between writers & entertainment industry. One 
screenplay accepted monthly to receive rewrite notes from 
script consultant. Awards: first place $2,000; second 
place $1,000; third place $500. Plus script analysis, film 
courses, conferences & software. Entry fee: $55. 
Deadline: monthly. Contact: Hollywood Columbus 
Screenplay Discovery Awards, 433 North Camden Dr., Ste. 
600, Beverly Hills, CA 90210; (310) 288-1882; fax: 475- 



0193; awards@HollywoodNetwork.com; www.Hollywood 
Network.com 

HOLLYWOOD SCREENPLAY CONSULTANTS SCREEN- 
WRITING COMPETITION: To find quality screenplays for 
Hagan Productions, Inc. to produce & Cine-Vision 2000 to 
distribute. Seeking low budget (less than $1.5 million), 
character or story driven, feature film screenplays. Should 
be live action, 1 or 2 locations ideal, 10 or less characters, 
90-120 pages. Any genre considered. Cats: feature, short, 
animation, TV movie, TV mini-series, TV series (currently 
in production or not). Each entry must not have been sold, 
optioned, in turnaround, in preproduction or have been 
produced at time of submitted deadline. Prizes: 1st. place, 
$2,000; 2nd place, $1,000; 3rd place, $500; a prominent 
agent, a WGA signatory agency, will consider winners for 
representation to production companies & the major stu- 
dios. Top 3 winners will receive FREE copy of Screen & 
Stage Play Marketing Secrets by James Russell. Each 
entry will receive 2-page critique & coverage of their 
screenplay from HSC. Entry fee: $75 per screenplay. 
Deadlines: Mar. 1, Sept. 1 & Dec. 1. Contact:17216 
Saticoy Street, #303, Van Nuys, CA, 91406, (818) 994- 
5977; www.swiftsite.com/cine-vision2000 



$50. Deadline: monthly (postmarked by 15th of each 
month). Contact: 1605 Cahuenga Blvd., Ste. 213, 
Hollywood, CA 90028; (800) SCRIPTS; hwdscreen 
@aol.com; www.moviewriting.com 

MONTEREY COUNTY FILM COMMISSION 2002 SCREEN- 
WRITING COMPETITION: Awards $2,002 top prize and 
valuable Hollywood contacts. Includes free tuition to the 
American Screenwriters Association's "Selling to 
Hollywood Screenwriters Conference." Top 3 winners also 
receive free tuition and personal one-to-one consultations 
with industry professionals at Screenwriting Day in 
Monterey on April 20, 2002. New $1,000 "On Location 
Award" will be given in recognition of an outstanding 
screenplay that includes at least 50% Monterey County 
settings. Deadline: Jan 31. 2002. Screenplays must not 
have been optioned or sold at the time of submission. Full 
length film or TV (90-130 pgs). Entry fee: $35, if post- 
marked by Oct. 31, 20011 $45 postmarked by Nov. 30, 
2001, $55 afterwards. Discounts for submission of 2 or 
more scripts. Submit early — contest limited to first 500 
screenplays received. Contact: (831) 646-0910; 
www.filmmonterey.org. 

SCRIPTAPALOOZA 4th ANNUAL SCREENWRITING COM- 
PETITION: Grand prize $10,000. Deadlines: postmarked 
by April 16 (late entry. $50). Contact: 




HELPING WRITERS 
GET NOTICED 

I 

Tired of getting your 
script rejected just 
because you don't know 
je right people? The 



Screenwriting Competition has made it their mission to discover new 
talent and show them the path to a promising career. The perks aren't 
only for the first place winner though; second and third place also have 
the chance to make it in the business as they, too, get the support and 
nurturing of the Scriptapalooza team. Since the competition began in 
1998, past winners have been able to land interviews with agents and 
get meetings with production companies and directors. One success 
story is the 1999 runner-up, Andrea Bailey, who sold her script to 
Universal Studios. See listing 



HOLLYWOOD SCRIPTWRITING CONTEST: To provide new 
valuable outlet for recognizing & promoting quality scripts 
of undiscovered writers worldwide. Registered feature 
films (no TV dramas or sitcoms) in English; motion picture 
standard master scene format required. Must be unop- 
tioned, btwn 90 & 130 pages. Rules & Requirement in full 
detail posted on contest website. Awards: Winning script 
sent to agents & praducers. Winning synopsis published 
on the Internet & marketed to production companies 
found in the Hollywood Creative Directory for one year, 
which includes all major studios seeking new screen- 
plays. 1 year subscription to Scr(i)pt magazine. Entry Fee: 



7775 Sunset Blvd. PMB #200. Hollywood, CA 90046; 
(323) 654-5809; info@scriptapalooza.com; www.scrip- 
tapalooza.com 

SET IN PHILADELPHIA: screenwriting competition is open 
to all screenwriters in the Greater Philadelphia area. All 
genres accepted. Scripts will be judged on overall quality 
and genuine Philadelphia story. Grand prize: $10,000 
cash, foot in the door LA package, notes from high profile 
judges & more. Additional prize package include the run- 
ner-up. and the Parisi Award ($1,000) for the best screen- 
play by an author under 21 years old (see website for 
complete prize lists). Entry fee $45, deadline 1/4/02. 



62 THE INDEPENDENT January/February 2002 



Contact: The Greater Philadelphia Film Office, 100 South 
Broad St., Suite 600, Philadelphia, PA 19110, (215) 686- 
2668, www.film.org/filmmakers/sip.html, or email 
sip@film.org 

TEXAS FILM INSTITUTE SCREENPLAY COMPETITION: To 

promote, develop & seek production of new talented 
screenwriters within the studio and independent film mar- 
ket. Our sponsors expect to read solid dramatic scripts 
from our winners that reflect our high standards of writing 
for which we are known in the industry. Awards; Cash, 
possible option, entrants placing in semifinals and up 
receive free evaluation of script, admission to the Santa 
Fe Screenwriters Conference. Entry fee: $40. Deadline: 
April 15. Contact: Lisa Matter, Creative Assistant, TFI 
2002, The Ranch of Dos Cerros, 409 Mountain Spring, 
Boeme, Tx 78006; (830)-537-5906; 537-5906; txflix 
@aol.com; www.texasfilminstitute.com 



Conferences • Workshops 



GLOBAL ENTERTAINMENT & MEDIA SUMMIT: Two days 
of high energy where the film, music and media worlds will 
meet to discuss networking, information, new praduct 
announcements and promotional opportunities. March 
2nd & 3rd New Yorker Hotel Ballrooms and Conference 
Center, New York City. Contact Steve Zuckerman for more 
info, steve@globalentertainmentnetwork.com 

NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE HUMANTIES: Summer 
seminars & institutes for college & univ. teachers. 
Seminars incl. 15 participants working in collaboration w/ 
1 or 2 leading scholars. Institutes provide intensive col- 
laborative study of texts, historical periods & ideas for 
teachers of undergrad humanities. Info & appl. materials 
are avail, from project directors. Contact: (202) 606- 
8463; sem-inst@neh.gOV; www.neh.gov 

REEL ALTERNATIVE FILM SALON AND REEL WRITERS 
WORKSHOP: respectively accept completed film and 
screenplay submissions year round. Black, Latino, Asian 
and Native American filmmakers (directors, screenwrit- 
ers, producers, and DPs) of Color are encouraged to sub- 
mit their VHS tape or script. Yes! We are interested in your 
mainstream projects, also. Submit your tape or script with 
a synopsis, your bio and a $10.00 submission fee (check 
or money order) to: IGH MULTIMEDIA, LLC 655 Fulton 
Street, Suite 139 Brooklyn, NY 11217. For more details, 
call 718-670-3616 or e-mail: ighmultimedia 
@excite.com 

THIRD WORLD NEWSREEL 2001 FILM & VIDEO PRO- 
DUCTION WORKSHOP: Workshop emphasizes training & 
support of people of color who have limited resourses & 
access to mainstream educational institutions & tradition- 
al training programs within film/video industry. Intensive 
5-month program focuses on preproduction, production & 
post production. Primary objective to have each member 
produce, write, direct & edit 2 projects. Workshop begins 
April. Prior film/video experience recommended but not 
required. Cost of workshop is $500. Deadline: Jan. 12. 
Contact: Third World Newsreel, 545 8th Ave., 10 Fl., New 
York, NY 10018; (212) 947-9277; fax 594-6417; 
twn@twn.org; www.twn.org 




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DVCAM, MiniDV, Beta-SP, 
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January/February 2002 THE INDEPENDENT 63 



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Films • Tapes Wanted 



AXLEGREASE: Buffalo, NY cable access program of ind. 
film & video, accepting all genres under 28 min. on 1/2", 
3/4", 8mm, Hi-8. Send labeled w/ name, address, title, 
length, additional info & s.a.s.e. for tape return tO: 
Squeaky Wheel, 175 Elmwood Ave., Buffalo, NY 14201; 
(716) 884-7172; squeaky@pce.net 

BIJOU MATINEE: is a showcase for independent shorts. 
Program appears weekly on Channel 35 leased access 
Manhattan Cable South (below 86th St.) every Sat at 2:30 
PM. Submissions should be 25 min, or less. VHS, 3/4", or 
DV, Send copies to Bijou Matinee, Box 649, New York, NY 
10159; (212) 505-3649; www.BijOuMatinee.com 

CHICAGO COMMUNITY CINEMA: offers the excitement of 
an annual film festival with a monthly extravaganza of a 
networking test and movie showcase. On the first 
Tuesday of each month short films, trailers, music videos, 
commercials, student films, and features, of all genres 
are showcased to an audience of industry professionals. 
Evenings begin with a cocktail hour to showcase local 
organizations and allow for a Strang social networking 
atmosphere before the screenings. Submission form 
available at website. Entry Fee: $25. Deadline: 
Ongoing. Contact: Chicago Community Cinema, 401 W. 
Ontario, Suite 208, Chicago, IL 50610; (312) 863-3451; 
www.ChicagoCommunityCinema.com 

CIN(E)-POETRY FESTIVAL: accepting short poetry or lit- 
erary films, videos, docs & multimedia pieces for catalog 
& upcoming poetry video film festival. Request entry form: 
Cin(E)-Poetry, 934 Brannan St., 2 fl., San Francisco, CA 
94103; (415) 552-9261; fax: 552-9261; poetry@nation- 
alpoetry.org 



DOBOY'S DOZENS: Monthly showcase w/ up to 350 
industry attendees seeks short films for highlighting works 
by up & coming filmmakers. Contact: Eugene Williams. 
Doboy's Dozens, 1525 N. Cahuonga Blvd. #39, 
Hollywood, CA 90028; (323) 293-6544; doboydozen 
@aol.com 

FILMS/VIDEOS WANTED: for weekly art program on Time 
Warner (public access TV) in Manhattan & Braoklyn eni- 
tled: SNACK-ON-ARTS. Artists please submit your work. 
15 mins. max. Contact: Box 050050, Brooklyn. NY 11205; 
snacontt@hotmail.com 

FINISHING PICTURES: accepting shorts, feature works- 
in-progress & web films seeking distribution or exposure 
to financial resouraes for CLIPS, a quarterly showcase 
presented to invited audience of industry professionals. 
All productions should be digital. Deadline: ongoing. 
Contact: Tommaso Fiacchino, (212) 971-5846; www.fin- 
ishingpictures.com 

FOOTAGE WANTED: Tigress Praductions seeking 8mm or 
S-8 footage of 42nd St./Times Square area fram 1960s & 
70s for doc. All film returned, some paid, film credit. 
Contact: June Lang (212) 977-2634. 

MAKOR: continues its on-going Reel Jews Film Series that 
showcases the work of emerging Jewish filmmakers. 
Now accepting shorts, features, docs and/or works-in- 
progress, regardless of theme, for screening consideration 



and network building. For more info, call Ken Sherman at 
(212) 601-1021 ore-mail kensherman@makororg. 

NEW DAY FILMS: premier distribution cooperative for 
social issue media, seeks energetic independent film & 
videomakers with social issue docs for distribution to non- 
theatrical markets. Now accepting appl. for new member- 
ship. Contact: On the East Coast: 617-338-4969. West 
and Midwest: (415) 383-8999. www.newday.com 

PUBLIC BROADCASTING SERVICE: accepts proposals 
from programs and completed programs by independent 
producers aimed at public television audiences. Consult 
PBS Web page fram praducer guidlines before submitting. 
Contact Cheryl Jones, Senior Director, Program 
Development & Independent Film, PBS Headquarters, 
1320 Braddock Place, Alexandria, VA 22314; (703) 739- 
5150; fax (703) 739-5295. Email: ciones@pbs.org. Web: 
www.pbs.org/praducers/ 

REAL TV: looking for dynamic videos: news, weather 
sports, bloopers, busts, "caught in the act." Real TV, syn- 
dicated, daily video magazine, will showcase compelling 
videos from around the world — from professionals as 
well as amateurs who capture video snapshots of life in 
the 90s. Tapes will not be retumed. Contact: Real TV. 
Hollywood Center Studios, Stage 2, 1040 N. Las Palmas, 
Los Angeles, CA 90038; (213) 860-0100. 

ROGUE VALLEY COMMUNITY TELEVISION: seeks video 
shows. VHS & S-VHS OK, any length or genre. For retum, 
incl. sufficient SASE. Send w/ description & release tO; 
Suzi Aufderheide, Southern Oregon Univ., RVTV, 1250 
Siskiyou Blvd.. Ashland, OR 97520; (541) 552-6898. 

SHIFTING SANDS CINEMA: is a quarterly screening series 
presenting experimental video, film, animation & digital 
media. Short works (under 20 min.) on VHS (NTSC) are j 
saught. Incl. synopsis of work, artist's bio & contact info. ' 
Deadline ongoing. Tapes are unable to be returned. 
Submissions will become part of the Shifting Sands 
Archives & will also be considered for curated exhibitions 
and other special projects. Contact: Shifting Sands | 
Cinema, c/o Jon Shumway, Art DepL. Slippery Rock Univ.. i 
Slippery Rock, PA 16057; (724) 738-2714; 
jon.shumway@sru.edu. 

THE SHORT FILM GROUP: accepts shorts throughout the 
year for its quarterly series of screenings in Los Angeles. 
The group is a non-profit organization created to promote 
short film "as a means to itself" For more information, 
please visit www.shortfilmgroup.org. 

THE VIDEO PROJECT: a leading educational distributor of 
videos, seeks environment and educational films and 
videos to aggressively market to the educational market. 
Contact us with finished projects or rough cuts. The Video 
Project, 45 Lusk Alley, San Francisco, CA. 94107. 
www.videoproject.net; video@videoproject.net 

UNQUOTE TV: Weekly nonprofit program dedicated to 
exposing innovative work of all genres. Produced at 
DUTV-Cable 54 & cablecast natJy. Unquote Television is 
now in its 10th year Send to: Unquote TV c/o DUTV. 3141 
Chestnut St. 9B/4026. Philadelphia, PA 19104, (215) 
895-2927; dutv@drexel.edu; www.libertynet.org/dutv 

VIDEO LOUNGE: seeks short anim., exper. or doc videos 
for on-going screening series. No narrative or works made 
on film. Currently searching for int'l videos for upcoming 



64 THE INDEPENDENT January/February 2002 




THE ASSOCIATION OF INDEPENDENT 
VIDEO AND FILMMAKERS 



To SUCCEED AS AN INDEPENDENT 
you need a wealth of resources, 
strong connections, and the best 
information available. Whether 
through our service and education 
programs, the pages of our magazine, 
our web resource, or through the 
organization raising its collective 
voice to advocate for important issues, 
AIVF preserves your independence 
while reminding you you're not alone. 

About AIVF and FIVF 

Offering support for individuals and 
advocacy for the media arts field. 
The Association of Independent 
Video and Filmmakers (AIVF) is a 
i national membership organization 
: that partners with the Foundation for 
Independent Video and Film (FIVF), a 
501(c)(3) nonprofit that offers a 
broad slate of education and 

I information programs. 

Information Resources 

AIVF workshops and events cover the 
whole spectrum of issues affecting 
i the field. Practical guides on festivals, 
distribution, exhibition and outreach 
help you get your film to audiences 
(see other part of insert). 

The Independent 

Membership provides you with a 
year's subscription to The Independent, 
a monthly magazine filled with 
thought-provoking features, profiles, 

II news, and regular columns on 
business, technical, and legal matters. 
Plus the field's best source of festival 
listings, funding deadlines, exhibition 
venues, and announcements of 
member activities and services. 



AIVF Online 

Stay connected through www.aivf.org, 
featuring resource listings and links, 
web-original articles, media advocacy 
information, discussion areas, and 
the lowdown on AIVF services. 
Members-only features include 
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listings, distributor and funder 
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late breaking news and highlights 
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Insurance & Discounts 

Members are eligible for discounted 
rates on health and production 
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Advocacy 

AIVF has been consistently outspoken 
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Members receive information on 
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JOINT MEMBERSHIPS 

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call (212) 807-1400x236. 

LIBRARY SUBSCRIPTION 

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subscription service to order or call 

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With all that AIVF has to offer, can you afford not to be a member? Join today! 

Mail to AIVF, 304 Hudson St., 6th fl. New York, NY 10013; or charge by phone (212) 807-1400 x 503, by fax (212) 463-8519, 
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For Library subscriptions: please contact your subscription service, or call AIVF at (212) 807-1400 x501. 



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series in spring, Send non-returnable VHS tape w/ brief bio 
& $1 to: Video Lounge, Box 1220, NY, NY 10013; 
info@videolounge.org; www.videolounge.org 

VIDEO/FILM SHORTS: wanted for local television. 
Directors interviewed, tape returned w/ audience feed- 
back. Accepting VHS/S-VHS, 15 min. max. SASE tO: Box 
1042, Nantucket, MA 02554; (508) 325-7935. 

WORKSCREENING/WORKS PRODUCTIONS: is currently 
accepting submissions of feature and short documen- 
taries and fiction films for programming of its upcoming 
inagural season of weekly showcases of independent 
work streamed online as well as on our micracinema 
screen in New York City. Looking for altemative, dramat- 
ic, animation, etc. Submit VHS/S-VHS (NTSC please) 
labeled with name, title, length, phone number, e-mail, 
address & support materials including screening list and 
festival history. Tapes and material will be returned only if 
you are not selected for showcase & you include a SASE. 
contact: Julian Rad, Works Productions/WorkScreening, 
1586 York Ave, #1, New York, NY 10028; 
WORKSinfo@aoLcom 

ZOIE FILMS INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL— ONLINE: 

ZoieFest Annual festival will present approx. 30-50 films 
during year & showcases more than 60 filmmakers. New 
domestic & foreign films, fiction films, film shorts & docs, 
animation, experimental, children's programs. Music 
Videos and TV Commercials will be included in festival. 
Awards incl. Zoie Star Award for Best Picture (domestic & 
foreign). People's Choice Awards & Certificates for various 
placements. Cash Prizes fortop winners! Deadline: Feb. 2. 
Contact: Zoie Films, 539 Salem Woods Dr., Marietta, GA 
30067; (404) 816-0602; fax: 560-6777; www. 
zoiefilms.com/filmfestxprt.htm 



Publications 



8xlOGLOSSY.COM: Online artists' co-op offers free listing 
for all actors, technicians & organizations in directory & 
searchable database, free email address (can even be 
forwarded by fax or letter), free use of bulletin board. Send 
s.a.s.e. to: Jim Lawter, 37 Greenwich Ave, #1-6, 
Stamford, CT 06902; www.8xl0glossy.com 

CREATIVE COMMUNITY: THE ART OF CULTURAL DEVEL- 
OPMENT: is a new publication commissioned by the 
Rockefeller Foundation. The report traces the history, the- 
oretical underpinnings, values & methods of community 
cultural development practice, empasizing its effective- 
ness as a response to social & economic forces that 
weaken cultural ties. The report also offers recommenda- 
tions to strengthen & support the field. For more informa- 
tion, visit website or write in for printed copies of the 
report. Contact: Rockefeller Foundation, Job #3186 
"Creative Community," Box 545, Mahwah, NJ 07430; 
www.rockfound.org 

DATABASE & DIRECTORY OF LATIN AMERICAN FILM & 
VIDEO: organized by Int'l Media Resources Exchange 
seeks works by Latin American & U.S. Latino ind. produc- 
ers. To send work or for info: Karen Ranucci, LAVA, 124 
Washington PI., NY NY 10014; (212) 463-0108. 



12 Call for Entries 




FILTVA FESTIVyN.L 

IftUiiiil flli/Vidto httinl 

Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center 

May 2nd-5th, 2002 

Call or Write for Entry Forms (Due 4/1/02) 

Christopher Cooke, Director 

Long Island Film Festival 

c/o P.O. Box 13243 

Hauppauge, NY 11788 

1-800-762-4769 . (631) 853-4800 

From 10;00am-6pm, Mon-Fri 

or visit our website at www.lifilm.org 





I ^^^r ^^^ ...for a very 

small price! 

Easy-to-use Budgeting software for Feature Films 

({Aso available for Commercials) 

EASY BUDGET 

http://>/vw>/v.easy-budget.com 

(800)356-7461 (818)701-5209 



January/February 2002 THE INDEPENDENT 65 



Essential Resources for 
Independent Video and Filmmakers 



!li;^rt:rAiW;!Wi 



AlVF's top selling reference: All New Edition! 

The AIVF Guide to 

international Film and Video Festivals 

edited by Michelle Coe $35 / $25 AIVF members plus shipping and handling. 

Up-to-date profiles of over 900 Film & Video Festivals, with complete contact and deadline information. 
First published in 1982, AlVF's Festival Guide is the most established and trusted source of information 
and inside views of film and video festivals around the world. Supplemented by selected reprints from 
The Independent's Festival Circuit column, profiling over 40 festivals in-depth from the filmmaker's 
perspective. The Guide is published to order, ensuring the most current information available! For AIVF 
members, the Festival Guide is enhanced by monthly listings in The Independent magazine, and an 
online interactive festival directory that is continually updated! 



New! An interactive guide to grassroots distribution! 

The AIVF & MediaRights.org 
Independent Producers' Outreach Toolkit 



MEDMRIGHTS.ORG 



edited by MediaRights.org $125 / $115 AIVF members 

Show funders how your film will have an impact! Your documentary can move audiences to take action 
for social change. What's your plan? Use this interactive resource to design, implement, and evaluate an 
effective outreach campaign. The Outreach Toolkit also downloads to your PDA and includes interactive 
worksheets; budgeting tools; a print resource binder; individualized consultation with outreach experts; 
case studies including funded proposals; an online producers' forum; and much more! 

OTHER GUIDES TO GEHING YOUR WORK OUT TO AUDIENCES: 

THE AIVF GUIDE TO FILM & VIDEO EXHIBITORS 

edited by Kathryn Bowser $35/ $25 AIVF members S'1999 

THE AIVF SELF-DISTRIBUTION TOOLKIT 

edited by loannis Mookas $30/$20 AIVF members ©1999 

Buy Both Self-Distribution Books and Save! $60 / $40 AIVF members 

THE NEXT STEP: DISTRIBUTING INDEPENDENT FILMS AND VIDEOS 

edited by Morrie Warshawski $24.95 •& 1995 



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imtm 





NeT 

oisnuuTiNGiNDewwr 

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Organization 

Address 



D 



LJ yes Member Number: 



(NOTE: STREET ADDRESS REQUIRED; BOOKS CANNOT BE DELIVERED TO PO BOXES) 

City 



state 



ZIP 



Country _ 



Weekday tel. 

LJ Check enclosed 
Acct# 



Email 



Please bill my CH Visa LJ Mastercard LJ American Express 
Ejcp. date: / / 



Charge your order via www.aivf.org; by phone-. (212) 807-1400 x 303; 

by fax: (212) 463-8519; or make checks payable to FIVF and mail to 

FIVF, 304 Hudson Street, 6th floor, New York, NY 10013 



QUAN. PRICE 



The AIVF Guide to International Film and Video Festivals 

Michelle Coe, ed.; ©2001; $35 / $25 members 



® The MediaRights.org & AIVF Independent Producers' Outreach Toolkit 

($125 / $1 15 members) to Ofdef log on to www.medianghts.orgltoolkit 

The AIVF Film and Video Exhibitors Guide $35 / $25 



The AIVF Film and Video Self-Distribution Toolkit $30 / $20 



'both Self Distribution titles $60/ $40 members 



The Next Step $24.95 



SUBTOTAL 

Postage/handling: us (surface mail): $6 first, $4 ea add. 
Foreign: provide FedEx account # or contact us for rate 

TOTAL 



Please allow 2-4 weeks for delivery (shipped UPS); expedited orders require a $15 processing fee in addition to shipping charges. 
Note that UPS will not deliver to PO boxes. If you live in Manhattan, you may prefer to come by our Filmmaker Resource Library for instant gratification! 



DIGITAL MEDIA TRAINING SERIES: (DMTS) is a video & 
DVD-based training series for film, television & web 
developers. The series provides high-end training tools 
that improve productivity & creativity for the end-user. 
DMTS training episodes feature the latest topics & tech- 
nology, giving viewers access to working professionals & 
experts that they would not have in a traditional class- 
room setting, at a fraction of the cost. Contact: Rafael, 
(877) 606-5012; info@magnetmediafilms.com; www.digi- 
talmediatrainingcom 

SANCTUARY QUARTERLY: is a new literary magazine that 
aims to bring the art of screenwriting to a wider audience. 
Sanctuary is devoted exclusively to creative work - 
thoughtful, entertaining, meaningful screenplay writing by 
both established screenwriters and undiscovered talent. 
Writers are encouraged to submit excerpts of quality 
screenplays for publication. Visit www.sanctuaryquarter- 
ly.com for more information. 

THE SQUEALER: quarterly journal produced by Squeaky 
Wheel puts upstate NY spin on media-related subjects. 
Once a year. The Squealer publishes "State of the State," 
a comprehensive resource issue w/ detailed info on 
upstate media arts organizations, access centers, schools 
& coalitions. Subscriptions $15/ year. Contact: Andrea 
Mancuso, Squeaky Wheel, 175 Elmwood Ave., Buffalo, NY 
14201 



Resources • Funds 



ALLIANCE OF CANADIAN CINEMA TELEVISION AND 
RADIO ARTISTS: (ACTRA) announces new, innovative pro- 
gram that supports indigenous Canadian productions & 
aims to increase volume of Canadian-made films. ACTRA 
represents over 16,000 film, TV and commercial perform- 
ers across Canada and wishes to bring these performers 
to independent film. Contact: Indra Escobar, (877) 913- 
2278. 

ARTHUR VINING DAVIS FOUNDATIONS: provide grants to 
support educational series assured of airing nationally by 
PBS. Children's series are of particular interest. 
Consideration also will be given to innovative uses of pub- 
lic TV, including computer online efforts, to enhance edu- 
cational outreach in schools and communities. Funding for 
research and preproduction is rarely supported. Recent 
production grants have ranged from $100,000 to 
$500,000. Proposal guidelines available on website. 
Contact: Dr. Jonathan T Howe, Arthur Vining Davis 
Foundation, 111 Riverside Ave., Ste. 130, Jacksonville, FL 
32202-4921; arthurvining@bellsouth.net; www. 
jvm.com/davis/ 

ARTSLINK: provides support to U.S. arts professionals & 
nonprofit arts organizations to work w/ their counterparts 
in 27 countries in Central & Eastern Europe & Newly 
Independent States. Projects should be designed to bene- 
fit participants or audiences in both countries. 
Applications must be postmarked by Jan 15. Contact: 
ArtsLink, CEC Intemational Partners, 12 West 31 Street, 
NY NY 10001, (212) 643-1985 x.22, artslink@cecip.org, 
www.cecip.org. 



Looking for a Distributor? 



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If your new work is ready for distribution, give us a call. 
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http://wv/w-cmil. unex.berkeley.edu/media/ 




INDEPENDENT 
FILI^I FESTIVAL 
SHOWCASING BREAKOUT 
ACTING PERFORMANCES 



LAEMMLE'S PLAYHOUSE 7, PASADENA, CA 
(310) 535-9230; www.methodfest.com 

Entry Deadlines: Early: December 15; Late: February 1 



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January/February 2002 THE INDEPENDENT 67 



ETA 



America's Conference & 
Expo on Entertainment 
Technology 
Feb. 22-23 2002 
Tine Pasadena Center 



Entertainment Technology Alliance 



register online at: 

www.etaexpo.com 



or call: 

310-229-8915 



iMagnolia 



maif\\m Festival 



, 2002 • Starkvilie, MS 



Our 5th Annual "Mag" welcomes all lengths, all genres. 
Cash awards and "Mags" given in eight categories. Entries 
screened in 35mm, 16mm, Beta, VHS. $10 entry fee. If 
you attend we house you for free. Congrats to last year's 
winners: Irene Turner's "The Girl's Room; Patricia Chica's 
"The Promise"; Ace Allgood's "The Chromium Hook"; Anne 
Dodge's "In Mound Bayou"; John Kozak's "The Eulogy"; 
Sadia Shepard's "Eminent Domain". 

Entry Forms: Download at www.magfilmfest.com or write to: 
Ron Tibbett, Festival Director 2269 Waverly Drive West Point, MS 39773 
Phone: (662) 494-5836 Fax: (662) 494-9900 email: ronchar@ebicom.net 



A Proud "Festival Partner" of The Rhode 
Island International Film Festival. 




CHICAGO UNDERGROUND FILM FUND: 4th year award- 
ing $500-$2,000 postproduction completion grant tor 
any length & genre on super 8, 16mm or 35mm. 
Emphasis placed on works that fit CUFF'S mission to pro- 
mote films & videos that innovate in form or content. 
Deadline: Feb. 5. Contact: CUFF 3109, N. Western Ave., 
Chicago, IL 60618; (773) 327-FILM: info@cuff.org; 
www.cuff.org 

CULTURAL FUNDING: FEDERAL OPPORTUNITIES: 

Designed by the National Endowment for the Arts to help 
nonprofit arts organizations identify potential sources of 
federal support for cultural programs, this online resource 
includes listings of federal agencies w/ history of funding 
art-related projects, descriptions of projects, links, refer- 
ence tools & tips on navigating specific funding sources. 
Listings include over 100 federal programs & 170 project 
examples, showing various arts programs supported by 
federal dollars at national, regional & state levels. Access: 
www.arts.gov/federal.html 

FREE SOUNDTRACK SONGS: if you credit song in your 
film credits. Professionally produced & mastered CD with 
22 punk, rock, alternative, dance, love songs. Call John 
at Road Rash Music (ASCAP publisher), (703) 481-9113. 

FUNDING AVAILABLE: Private individual willing to partici- 
pate financially in production of low-budget independent 
films. Send informal outline of project with emphasis on 
script. Filmmakers will be contacted via snail mail, email, 
or telephone. Contact: Indies, 1923 35th PI., N.W. Apt. 
#l,Washington.D.C. 20007. 

ITVS'S LINCS 2002 FUNDING INITIATIVE: The 

Independent Television Services (ITVS) announces LinCS 
2002 (Local Independent Collaborating with Stations), a 
funding initiative that gives independent producers and 
local public stations the opportunity to work together 
LinCS provides incentive or matching monies to collabora- 
tions between public television stations and independent 
producers. Funding amounts will range from $10,000 - 
$75,000. LinCS 2002 seeks regionally and culturally 
diverse projects. Programs should stimulate civic dis- 
course and break traditional molds of exploring regional, 
cultural, political, social and economic issues. Deadline: 
April 30. 

JOHN D. & CATHERINE T MACARTHUR FOUNDATION: 

provides partial support to selected doc series & films 
intended for nat I or mt1 broadcast & focusing on an issue 
in one of the Foundation's 2 major programs (Human & 
Community Development: Global Security & 
Sustainability). Send prelim. 2- to 3-pg letter Contact: 
John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. 140 S. 
Dearbom St., Ste. 1100, Chicago, IL 60603; (312) 726- 
8000; 4answers@macfdn.org; www.macfdn.org 

NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE HUMANITIES': 

Division of Public Programs provides grants to media pro- 
jects that use broadcast & related companion digital 
media to present high-quality programs that explore the 
humanities to public audiences. Grants are offered for the 
planning, scripting & production of film, television & digi- 
tal media projects that address humanities themes. NEH 
also offers consultation grants to help conceive of new 
projects. Projects should focus on humanities program- 
ming for the general public. Visit website for applications 
and guidelines. Deadlines: Sept 11 (consultation grants), 
Nov. 1 (planning grants), Feb. 1 (planning, scripting & pro- 



68 THE INDEPENDENT January/February 2002 



duction grants), Contact: Media Programs, Division of 
Public Programs, Room 426, National Endowment for the 
Humanities, 1100 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, 
D.C. 20506; (202) 606-8269; publicpgms@neh.gov; 
www.neh.gov 

NATIONAL LATINO COMMUNICATIONS CENTER: is a 

media arts production resource center that supports, pro- 
duces & syndicates Latino programming for public televi- 
sion. Purpose is to empower Latinos in U.S. throughout the 
broadcast communications media. To that end, its mission 
is to: provide to the nation quality programming which illu- 
minates the diversity of nat'l Latino ethos through expres- 
sions of its arts, cultures & histories; provide a sustained 
institutional framework for expressing Latino voice in the 
nat'l, Int'l film & communications industry; provide train- 
ing & related assistance to develop & support Latino 
media talent whose creative visions will transform the 
Latino experience into compelling images of a people. 
Write: NLCC, 3171 Los Feliz Blvd., Ste 200, LA, CA 90039; 
(213) 663-5606; www.nlcc.com/ 

NEW VOICES, NEW MEDIA FUND: Corporation for 
Public Broadcasting has allocated up to $2 million this 
year to create the New Voices, New Media Fund. The 
objectives of this Fund are to harness the new media by 
supporting the creation of mission-driven, diverse new 
media content; and providing opportunities for diverse 
content creators working in public broadcasting to 
develop the skills that the new media demand. Project 
applications will be accepted throughout the year until 
the available fund is exhausted. Be aware that this call 
may be terminated at any time by CPB. Contact:New 
Voices, New Media Fund, c/o Program Operations, 
Corporation for Public Broadcasting, 401 Ninth Street, 
NW, Washington, DC 20004; lbarbash@cpb.org; 
www.cpb.org/tv/funding 

NEH WAVE FILMS: funded by the Independent Film 
Channel, was established to provide finishing funds & 
other vital support to emerging filmmakers w/ low-budget, 
English-lang. features from U.S. & abroad. Selected films 
receive assistance w/ postproduction, implementing a 
festival strategy & securing distribution. Through Agenda 
2000 - the production arm of Next Wave Films - filmmak- 
ers w/ an established body of work can receive production 
financing & assistance for features shot on DV and intend- 
ed for theatrical release. Both fiction & non-fiction films 
considered for finishing funds and Agenda 2000. Contact: 
Next Wave Films, 2510 7th St., Ste. E, Santa Monica, CA 
90405, (310) 392-1720; fax: 399-3455; launch 
@nextwavefilms.com; www.nextwavefilms.com 

OPEN CALL 2002, ROUND 1: The Independent Television 
Service (ITVS) seeks provacative, compelling stories from 
diverse points of view and diverse communities. No fin- 
ished works. Projects in any genre (animation, drama, 
documentary, experimental) or in any stage of praduction 
will be considered. Programs should tell a great story, 
break traditional molds of exploring cultural, political, 
social or economic issues, take creative risks, or give 
voice to those not usually heard. Download applications 
and guidelines at www.itvs.org. For queries email 
Marlene_Velasco@itvs,org or call (415) 356-8383 x232. 
Deadline: February 15. 

OPEN DOOR COMPLETION FUND: Funding is available 
from National Asian American Telecommunications 



Association (NAATA) for applicants with public TV projects 
in final post-production phase. Full-length rough cut must 
be submitted. Awards average $20,000 & NAATA funds 
must be the last monies needed to finish project. 
Applications reviewed on a rolling basis. Review process 
takes approximately 1-3 months. Contact: NAATA Media 
Fund, 346 Ninth St., 2nd FL, San Francisco, CA 94103; 
(415) 863-0814; fax: 863-7428; mediafind 
@naatanet.org; www.naatanet.org 

PAUL ROBESON FUND FOR INDEPENDENT MEDIA: 

solicits projects addressing critical social & political 
issues w/ goal of creating social change. Funding for radio 
projects in all stages of production; film & video projects 
in preproduction or distribution stages only. Grants range 
from $3,000-$8,000. Deadline: May 15. Contact: Trinh 
Duong, The Funding Exchange, 666 Broadway, #500, NX 
NY 10012; (212) 529-5300. 

PEN WRITER'S FUND & PEN FUND: for writers & editors 
w/ AIDS. Emergency funds, in form of small grants given 
each year to over 200 professional literary writers, incl. 
screenwriters, facing financial crisis. PEN's emergency 
funds are not intended to subsidize writing projects or 
professional development. Contact: PEN American 
Center, 568 Broadway, New York, NY 10012; (212) 334- 
1660. 

THOUSAND WORDS FINISHING FUND: considers pro- 
jects by first or second time feature filmmakers looking to 
create intelligent, innovative, and challenging films. The 
$500,000 fund is available in varied amounts for editing, 
sound mixing, music rights, and other post-production 
costs. Selected films will also receive assistance in film 
festival planning and distribution. Narratives, documen- 
taries, animation and works-in-progress may be submit- 
ted. Application forms can be downloaded at Thousand 
Words' website: www.thousand-words.com. Contact: fin- 
ishingfund@thousand-words.com or Thousand Words, 
9100 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 404E, Los Angeles, CA 90212. 
(310) 859-8330, fax, (310) 859-8333. 

VOLUNTEER LAWYERS FOR THE ARTS: offer seminars on 
"Copyright Basics," "Nonprofit Incorporation & Tax 
Exemption" & more. Reservations must be made. Contact 
(212) 319-2910 x. 9, 

WRITER'S FILM PROJECT: offers fiction, theatre & film 
writers the opportunity to begin a career in screenwriting. 
Up to 5 writers will be chosen to participate & each will 
receive a $20,000 stipend to cover his or her living 
expenses. Applications must be sent by mail only. 
Contact: Chesterfield Film Company - WFP 1158 26th St., 
Box 544, Santa Monica, CA 90403; (213) 683-3977; 
www.chesterfield-co.com 

ART ON FILM DATABASE: offers free listings. Have you 
produced films, videos, CD-ROMs on art or architecture? 
Send info for inclusion in database of over 25,000 pro- 
ductions on visual arts topics. Productions about artists of 
color & multicultural arts projects welcomed. Send info tO: 
Program for Art on Film, Inc., c/o Pratt SILS, 200 
Willoughby Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11205; (718) 399-4506; 
fax: 399-4507; artfilm@sils.pratt.edu; www.artfilm.org 



Statement of Ownership 
Management and Circulation 

(Required by 39 U.S.C. 3685) 

1 , Title of Publication: The Independent Film & Video Monthly. 

2, Publication number: 011-708. 

3, Filing date: 11-27-2001. 

4, Issue frequency: Monthly (except combined issues 
January/February and July/August). 

5, Number of issues published annually: 10. 

6, Annual subscription price: $55/individual; $35/student; 
$75/library; $ I OO/nonprof it & school; $l50/business & 
industry, 

7, Complete mailing address of known office of publication: 
304 Hudson St., 6th fl„ New York, NY 10013-1015, Contact 
person: Sandy Spencer, Telephone: (212) 807-1400 x, 234. 

8, Complete mailing address of headquarters or general 
business office of publisher: 304 Hudson St., 6th fl.. New 
York. NY 10013-1015, 

9, Full names and complete mailing addresses of the publish- 
er, editor, and managing editor: Publisher; Elizabeth Peters, 
AIVF/FIVE 304 Hudson St., 6th fl,. New York, NY 10013- 
1015. Editor; Beth Pinsker, FIVE 304 Hudson St., 6th fl„ 
New York, NY 10013-1015, Managing Editor; Farrin Jacobs, 
FIVE, 304 Hudson St,. 6th fl„ New York, NY 10013-1015, 

10, Owner; The Foundation for Independent Video and Film 
(FIVF), 304 Hudson St„ 6th fl., New York, NY I0OI3-IOI5, 
(FIVE is a nonprofit organization,) 

11, Known bondholders, mortgagees, and other security 
holders owning or holding I percent or more of total amount 
of bonds, mortgages, or other securities; None, 

12, Tax status; The purpose, function, and nonprofit status of 
this 501(c)(3) organization and the exempt status for federal 
income tax purposes has not changed during the preceding 
12 months, 

13, Publication title; The Independent Film & Video Monthly. 

14, Issue date for circulation data below; Aug/Sep 2001, 

15, Extent and nature of circulation; a. Total No. Copies (net 
press run): Average no, copies each issue during preceding 
12 months; 13,216; actual no, copies of single issue pub- 
lished nearest to filing date; 13,685, b. Paid and/or requested 
circulation; (I) Paid/requested outside-county mail subscrip- 
tions stated on Form 3541; Average no, copies each issue 
during preceding 12 months; 2,467; no, copies of single 
issue published nearest to filing date: 2,542; (2) Paid in- 
county subscriptions stated on Form 354 1 ; Average no, 
copies each issue during preceding 12 months; 1,855; no, 
copies of single issue published nearest to filing date; 1,855; 

(3) Sales through dealers, carriers, street vendors, counter 
sales & other non-USPS paid distribution; Average no, 
copies each issue during preceding 12 months: 5,974; no, 
copies of single issue published nearest to filing date; 5,117; 

(4) Other classes mailed through the USPS; N/A, c. Total 
paid and/or requested circulation; Average no, copies each 
issue during preceding 12 months; 10,296; no, copies of 
single issue published nearest to filing date; 9,914, d. Free 
distribution by mail: Average no. copies each issue during 
preceding 12 months; 174; no. copies of single issue pub- 
lished nearest to filing date; 168, e. Free distribution outside 
the mail (carriers or other means): Average no, copies each 
issue during preceding 12 months; 1,256; no. copies of sin- 
gle issue published nearest to filing date; 2,820. f. Total free 
distribution; Average no. copies each issue during preceding 
12 months; 1,430; no, copies of single issue published near- 
est to filing date; 2,988, g. Total distribution: Average no, 
copies each issue during preceding 1 2 months; 1 1 .726; no, 
copies of single issue published nearest to filing date; 
12,902, h. Copies not distributed: Average no, copies each 
issue during preceding 12 months; 1,490; no, copies of sin- 
gle issue publi.shed nearest to filing date; 783, i. Total; (sum 
of 15 g, h( I ) and h(2) Average no. copies each issue during 
preceding 12 months: 13,216; no, copies of single issue pub- 
lished nearest to filing date; 13.685, j. Percent paid and/or 
requested circulation; Average no, copies each issue during 
preceding 12 months: 87,8%; actual no, copies of single 
issue published nearest to filing date; 76.8%, 

16, Publication of Statement of Ownership: Publication 
required. Will be published in the Jan/Feb 2002 issue of this 
publication, 

17, I certify that all information furnished on this form is 
true and complete, 

(Signed) 

Farrin Jacobs, Managing Editor, 5th November, 2001, 



January/February 2002 THE INDEPENDENT 69 



(^^---:= 



DEADLINE: 1ST OF EACH MONTH, 2 MONTHS PRIOR TO 
COVER DATE (E.G. MARCH 1 FOR MAY ISSUE). 
CONTACT: (212) 807-1400, FAX: (212)463-8519; 
CLASSIFIEDS@AIVFORG. 

PER ISSUE COST: 

0-240 CHARACTERS (INCL. SPACES & PUNCTUATION) 
$45 FOR NONMEMBERS/$30 FOR AIVF MEMBERS; 
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CALL FOR QUOTE (212) 807-1400 X. 229. 

Frequency discount: 

$5 off per issue for ads running 5+ times 

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should be typed & accompanied by check or 
money order payable to: five, 304 hudson st, 6th 
fl, nevi/ york, ny 10013. include billing address; 
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MOST complete SUPER 16MM camera package in 
U.S. We pay roundtrip next day shipping anywtiere. You 
quote us a price. Support, no extra cliarge. You won't 
believe it, cfieck it out. (312) 505-3456; www.zacuto- 
rentals.com 

PRODUCTION EQUIPMENT FOR SALE! Visit our new 
website — www.ProductionClassifieds.com — and 
browse dozens of ads for used film and TV gear organized 
under various categories. Got something to sell? Expose 
it to the industry today! For a limited time. AIVF members 
can place a classified ad on the site for 10% off. Use 
coupon code: IND838 in the Create Ad stage. 

SHARE DOWNTOWN PRODUCTION OFFICE: Up to 300 

sq. ft. available, 4-line phone system with voicemail, fax, 
copier, TV/VCR, cable. Broadway/Houston area. 
Short/long term. Call High Voltage Productions at (212) 
295-7878. 

VIDEO DECKS/EDIT SYSTEMS/CAMERAS FOR RENT: 

I deliver! Beta-SP deck (Sony UVW-1800) $150/day, 
$450/wk. Also— 1:1 Avid Suite, Final Cut, DV Cam decks 
and cameras, mics, lights, etc. Production Central (212) 
631-0435. 

Distribution 

#1 award-winning distributor and producer, 

seeks new programs on healthcare, end-of-life, disabili- 
ties, mental health & caregiving, by independent produc- 
ers. Our producers and their films receive the attention 
they deserve! Contact us at (888) 440-2963, 
leslie@aquariusproductions.com, or send a preview 
copy tO: 5 Powderhouse Lane, Sherborn, MA 01701. 
www.aquariusproductions.com. 

19 YEARS AS AN INDUSTRY LEADER! Representing out- 
standing video on healthcare, mental health, disabilities 
& related issues; which win Oscars, Emmys, Duponts, 
Freddies & more. Join us! Fanlight Productions: 
937-4113; www.fanlight.com 



BUDGETS/INVESTOR PACKAGE: Experienced Line 
Producer will prepare script breakdowns, shooting 
schedules & detailed budgets. Movie Magic equipped. 
MC, Visa, Amex. Indie rates negotiable. Mark (212) 340- 
1243, 

EDUCATIONAL DISTRIBUTOR SEEKS VIDEOS on guid- 
ance issues such as violence, drug prevention, men- 
toring, children's health & parenting for exclusive 
distribution. Our marketing gives unequaled results! 
Call Sally Germain at The Bureau for At-Risk Youth: 
(800) 99-YOUTH x 210. 

LOOKING FOR AN EDUCATIONAL DISTRIBUTOR? 

Consider the University of California. We can put 80 
years of successful marketing expertise to work for you. 
Kate Spohr: (510) 643-2788; www-cmil.unex.berkeley. 
edu/media/ 

THE CINEMA GUILD, leading film/video/multimedia dis- 
tributor, seeks new doc, fiction, educational & animation 
programs for distribution. Send videocassettes or discs 
for evaluation tO: The Cinema Guild, 130 Madison Ave., 
2nd fl„ New York, NY 10016; (212) 685-6242; GCROW- 
DUS@CINEMAGUILD,COM; Ask for our Distribution 
Services brochure. 

Freelance 

35MM/16MM PROD, PKG w/ DP Complete packagew/ 
DP's own Arri 35BL, 16SR, HMIs. dolly, jib crane, light- 
ing, DAT grip, 5-ton truck... more. Call for reel: Tom 
Agnello (201) 741-4367; roadtoindy@aol,com 

ACCOUNTANT/BOOKKEEPER/CONTROLLER: Experience 

in both corporate & nonprofit sectors. Hold MBA in 
Marketing & Accounting, Freelance work sought, Sam 
Sagenkahn (917) 374-2464. 

ANDREW DUNN, Director of Photography/camera opera- 
tor Arri35 BL3, Aaton XTRprod S16, Sony DVCAM, 
Experience in features, docs, TV & industrials. Credits: 
Dog Run, Strays, Working Space/Working Light. (212) 
477-0172; AndrewD158@aol.com 

AVID EDITOR W/ SYMPHONY, recently relocated to 
Burbank. excellent rates, both off- and online. Looking to 
form long-term relationships with independents. Call 
Charlene for info and reel at (818) 563-1426 or email 
PeregrineFilms@aol.com, 

AWARD-WINNING EDITOR, w/ Avid and Beta SP facility. 
Features, shorts, docs, music videos, educational, 
industrials, demos. Trilingual: Spanish, English, Catalan. 
Nuria Olive-Belles (212) 228-4724. 

BRENDAN C. FLYNT: Director of Photography w/ many 
feature & short film credits. Owns 35 Arri BL3, Super 
16/16 Aaton, HMIs, Dolly, and Tulip Crane. Awards at 
Sundance & Raindance. Call for quotes & reel at (212) 
208-0968; wwwdpFlynt.com 

CAMERAMAN/ STEADICAM OPERATOR: 35BL, 16SR, 
Beta SR Stereo TC Nagra4, TC FostexPD-4 DAT feature 
lite pkg. to shoot features, music videos, commercials, 
etc. Call Mik Cribben for info & reel, (212) 929-7728 or 
592-3350. 



CINEMATOGRAPHER, documentary/fiction. Numerous 
film awards incl. Cannes 2001 Palme d'Or for shorts, 
student Oscar, student Emmys, more. DSR-300 DVCAM 



package, doc lights, radio mike, etc. Will travel. 
Bldonnell@aol.com; (213) 483-5252. 

CINEMATOGRAPHER w / Aaton reg/super-16mm, Sony 
600 Beta, Sony DSR-500 DVCAM packages + lights + 
Van. Experienced, looking to collaborate on features, 
docs shorts & commercials. Adam Vardy, reel -i- rates 
(212) 932 8255; nyvardy@worldnetatt.net, 

CINEMATOGRAPHER w/ Arri SR Super 16 package & 
35IIC, w/ over 15 years in the industrv. Credits incl. 2nd 
unit, FX & experimental. Looking for interesting projects. 
Will travel. Theo (212) 774-4157; pager: (213) 707- 
6195. 

CINEMATOGRAPHER w/ Super 16 package with video 
tap, digital, lighting; 20 yrs experience on features, 
shorts, documentaries, music videos. Excellent crew. 
Italian, English, some Spanish: will travel. Renato Tonelli 
(718) 728-7567; rtonelli@tiscalinetit 

CINEMATOGRAPHER with Aaton 16mm/sl6mm pack- 
age, DVCAM, DV. lighting gear and more. A special inter- 
est in docs and other projects with progressive social 
values. Kevin Skvorak (718) 782-9179; k.skvorak@ver- 
izon.net 

COMPOSER: Experienced, award-winning Yale conser- 
vatory grad writes affordable music in any style that will 
enhance your project. Save money without compromising 
creativity. Full service digital recording studio. FREE 
demo CD; initial consultation. Call Joseph Rubenstein; 
(212) 242-2691: joe56@earthlink.net 

COMPOSER Miriam Cutler loves to collaborate with film- 
makers — features, docs. Sundance: Scout's Honor. 
Licensed To Kill / Peabody: The Castro / POV: Double Life 
of Ernesto Gomez Gomez, PBS & more (323) 664-1807: 
mircut2@earthlink,net 

COMPOSER: Original music for your film or video project. 
Will work with any budget. Complete digital studio. NYC 
area. Demo CD upon request Call Ian O'Brien: (201) 
222-2638: iobrien@bellatlantic.net 

COMPOSER: Perfect music for your project Orchestral to 
techno — you name it! Credits incl. NFL, PBS, Sundance, 
Absolut, Bach, of Music, Eastman School. Quentin 
Chiappetta (718) 782-4535; medianoise@excite.com 

DIGITAL VIDEO— Sony VXIOO digital camera & camera- 
man, Sennheiser ME 66 shotgun mic, pro accessories. 
Experienced in dance, theater, performance art docu- 
mentation & features. Final Cut Pro digital editing with 
editor $125/day. John Newell (212) 677-6652: 
johnewell@earthlink.net 

DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY with Aaton Super 
16/16mm and Arri 35BL2 camera pkgs. Independent 
films a specialty. Create that "big film" look on a low 
budget. Flexible rates. I work quickly. Willing to travel. 
Matthew: (617) 244-6730; (845)-439-5459; mwdp@att.net 

DV CONSULTANT: Need help w/ Final Cut Pro' Exp. con- 
sultant avail, for training in FCP AfterEffects, Media 
Cleaner Pro, or just Mac basics. Former Apple tech rep. 
& working filmmaker in NYC. Discount for AIVF members. 
Greg (347) 731-3466. 

ENTERTAINMENT AHORNEY: frequent contributor to 
"Legal Brief" in The Independent & other mags, offers 
legal services to film & video community on projects from 



70 THE INDEPENDENT January/February 2002 



development thru distribution. Contact Robert L. Seigel, 
Esq, (212) 333-7000. 

EXPERIENCED CINEMATOGRAPHER with crew and 
equipment. 16mm 35mm Video. Short films and fea- 
tures. Vincent (212) 779-1441. 

EXPERIENCED LINE PRODUCER available to help with 
your Breakdown, Schedule, Day out of Days and/or 
Budget. Specialty is low budget but high quality. Email 
AnnettaLIVl@aol.com for rates and references. 

GRANTWRITING/FUNDRAISING: Research, writing & 
strategy (for production, distribution, exhibition, & edu- 
cational projects of media). Successful proposals to 
NYSCA, NEA, NEH, ITVS, Soros, Rockefeller, Lila Acheson 
Wallace Foundation. Fast writers, reasonable rates. 
Wanda Bershen, (212) 598-0224; www.reddiapercom; 
or Geri Thomas (212) 625-2011; www.artstaffing.com 

LA EDITOR w/ tons of experience. Comf Westside cutting 
room. All bells and whistles. Exp. in docs., TV specials, 
commercials, industrials, music vids, shorts, feat.open- 
ings. AVID9000 G3. SFX, music library. Paul. 
323.356.9503 or pcfreed@earthlink.net 

LOCATION SOUND; Over 20 yrs sound exp. w/timecode 
Nagra & DAT quality mics. Reduced rates for low-budget 
projects. Harvey & Fred Edwards, (518) 677-5720; 
edfilms@worldnet.att.net 

PROFESSIONAL EDITOR, Experienced Teacher offering 
FINAL CUT PRO CLASSES. 2 per class, choose from Day 
or Evening. Private tutorials also available. East Village 
location. Call (917) 523-6260; or e-mail: Hinoonprod 
@aol.com 

SCRIPT CONSULTANT: Does your script have a medical 
scene or character? Experienced MD/filmmaker will 
review it for accuracy & authenticity. Reasonable rates & 
fast turnaround. Jay McLean-Riggs (425) 462-7393; 
jay.mcleanriggs@aya.yale.edu 

THINK YOU CAN'T AFFORD ORIGINAL MUSIC? Rocket 
Surgeon can build a fantastic score around any budget in 
any style. FREE Consultation. FREE CD. (718) 545-6687; 
info@RocketSurgeon.net; Visit us at: www.Rocket 
Surgeon.net 

Opportunities • Gigs 

pt prof in film industry for audrey cohen 
college top nyc wkend exec mba program in 

MEDIA MGMT: Knowledge Film Industry Structure/ 
Finance/Production/Marketing/Distribution. 
MBA/JD/PHD-h Producing & Biz Experience Essential. 
Please Fax FRM-AVF (212) 343-8477. 

WELL-ESTABLISHED FREELANCE CAMERA GROUP in 

NYC seeking professional cameramen and soundmen w/ 
solid Betacam video experience to work w/ our wide 
array of clients. If qualified contact COA at (212) 505- 
1911. Must have video samples/reel. 

THE DEPARTMENT OF MEDIA STUDY AT SUNY- 
BUFFALO seeks artist/researcher/theorist for one or 
more positions at the Assistant (Tenure Track)/Associate 
Professor level in Digital Media. MFA or the equivalent 
experience preferred. Deadline February 1, but the posi- 
tion will remain open until filled. For information, please 
visit http://wings.buffalo.edu/mediastudy. 



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January/Fehruai7 2002 THE INDEPENDENT 71 



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212-43 I-II30 
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info @ tiarvestworks.org 




THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT AUSTIN Department of 
Radio-TV-Film seeks to fill one or two tenure-track 
film/video position(s). Candidates must demonstrate 
teaching excellence, technical expertise and creative 
track record in TWO or more of the following areas, in 
order of preference/priority: Narrative FilmA/ideo (con- 
ventional or experimental). Directing, Screenwriting, 
Digital Animation, Convergent Media, Digital 
Technologies, Post Production. Terminal Degree (MFA, 
PhD) preferred. Salary/rank commensurate with experi- 
ence. Mail cover letter, resume, 3 letters of recommen- 
dation, one work sample tO: Ellen Spiro, Chair Search 
Committee, Dept. of Radio-TV-Film, UT/Austin, Austin, TX 
78712. The Department of Radio-Television-Film has 22 
permanent faculty, approximately 900 undergraduate 
majors & 150 graduate students pursuing Ph.D., M.A. or 
M.FA. degrees. RTF offers courses in film & video pro- 
duction, screenwriting, convergent media research & 
design, film & television studies, international communi- 
cation, telecommunication technology & policy, gender & 
sexuality, & ethnic issues in communication. The 
University of Texas at Austin is an Affirmative 
Action/Equal Opportunity employer. Minorities and 
women are encouraged to apply. For more information 
about the University, visit the University's home page at 
www.utexas.edu. 

EXPERIENCED PRODUCER WANTED for short film. Very 
low budget; do it for art not $ (sorry). Talented writer's 
first directing gig. NYC shoot, early 2002. (917)749-2197 
ornkimOOO@aol.com. 

Preproduction 

SU-CITY PICTURES clients wins awards and get deals! 
Susan Kougell, Harvard/Tufts instructor author The 
Savvy Screenwriter analyzes: scripts/films/treat- 
ments/queries/synopses/pitches. Credits: Miramax/ 
Warner Bros/Fine Line. Rewrites available. (212) 219- 
9224; www.su-city-pictures.com 

POSTPRODUCTION 

16MM CUTTING ROOMS: 8-plate & 6-plate fully 
equipped rooms, sound-transfer facilities, 24-hr access. 
Downtown, near all subways & Canal St, Reasonable 
rates. (212) 925-1500. 

16IVIM SOUND MIX only $100/hr Interlocked 16mm pic- 
ture & tracks mixed to 16 or 35mm fullcoat. 
16mm/35mm post services: picture & sound editorial, 
ADR, interlock screening, 16mm mag xfers (.065/ft). 
16mm edgecoding (.015/ft). Call Tom (201) 741-4367. 

A-RAY PRODUCTIONS RENTS AVIDS: Our place or 
yours. Comfortable edit suites in Weston, CT or we'll 
bring it to you (2-wk minimum). Rates from $1000. 
Includes AVR 77 -i- Real Time EFX. Award-winning edi- 
tors available. Call (203) 544-1267. 

AVID EDITOR; A dozen feature credits. New Media 
Composer w/ AVR 77 & offline rez. Beta SP DAT. extra 
drives, Pro-tools editing & mixing, and your Avid or mine. 
Fast & easy to get along with. Credit cards accepted. 
Drina (212) 561-0829. 

AVID MEDIA COMPOSER XLIOOO: On-Line or Off. Great 
rental prices! Convenient Chelsea location, 24/7 access: 
Riverside Films (212) 242-3005. 



BRODSKY & TREADWAY Film-to-tape masters. Reversal 
only. Regular 8mm, Super 8, or archival 16mm. We love 
early B&W & Kodachrome. Scene-by-scene only. Correct 
frame rates. For appt. call (978) 948-7985. 

DVD DESIGN AND PRODUCTION for film and video 
artists. Even if you have your own DVD burner, quality 
design and authoring makes all the difference. Discount 
for AIVF members. Contact: dvd@randomroom.com; 
www.randomroom.com 

FINAL CUT PRO RENTAL: Private edit suite in the 
Financial District w/ 24 hour access. 35 hours broadcast 
storage, 200-1- at low res. Call Jonathan at Mint Leaf 
Productions: (212) 952-0121 x. 229. 

MEDIA 100 EDITING Broadcast quality, newest soft- 
ware. Huge storage & RAM. Betacam, 3/4", all DV for- 
mats, S-VFiS, Hi-8... Great location, friendly environ- 
ment & low rates, tech support, talented editors & fx 
artists available: (212) 868-0028. 

PRODUCTION TRANSCRIPTS; Verbatim transcripts for 
documentaries, journalists. etc. Low prices & flat rates 
based on tape length. Standard 1 hr. 1-on-l interview is 
only $70: www.productiontranscripts.com for details or 
call: (888) 349-3022. 

STATE OF THE ART AVID 1000, System 10. meridian 
board, 1:1 compression. Comfy suite, convenient loca- 
tion. Use our editors or yours. Excellent rates. No project 
too big or small. Final Cut Pro suites & graphic services 

avail. (212)219-1400. 

VIDEO SUITE RENTAL $25/ hour!! Avid / Premiere 6.0 / 
After FX Pro Bundle / Commohon / Boris Red / Big FX / 
Spice Master / Also Animation Programs. Plus Sound 
Editing and music composition available. Ask About 
Daily and Weekly Rates. Call (718) 237-8703. 

AVID MEDIA COMPOSER XLIOOO. On-Line or Off. Great 
rental prices! Convenient Manhattan location, 24/7 
access. Riverside Films. (212) 663-2084 

D.P W/ AATON XTR PROD & SONY DSR-500 (16:9 pal & 
ntsc) Well-rounded, well-travelled D.P looking for cre- 
ative projects at home and abroad. Extensive lighting 
package also available. Call Lloyd @ (718) 623-0092. 
Ids@earthlink.net 

FINAL CUT PRO CLASSES. Leam to edit video/film on 
Final Cut Pro! Each student works on a dual screen FCP 
set-up. Our class sizes are very small (2-4 students). 
Bring your own project in. Lab time included with class. 
Weekend, weekday, day and night classes. Check out our 
website and register online. Classes located at: 225 
Lafayette Street. Suite 714. We also do one on one 
instruction at our studio, or at your home or office. Make 
your first music video, documentary, feature film, or just 
take those old wedding pictures out and cut something 
special. Editing services also available. Phone: 212-334- 
7380 Web: www.CutDigitalVideo.com E-mail: 
CutDigitalVideo@aol.com 



72 THE INDEPENDENT Januan'/Fehruan' 2002 



www.aivf.org 



Unless otherwise noted, all AIVF events take 
place at our offices (see below). RSVP required 
for all events. (212) 807-1400 x301 or 
info@aivf.org. 

Meet & Greet: 
ARTISTIC LICENSE FILMS 

When: Thurs., Jan. 24th, 6:30-8:30 p.m. 
Cost: $5 members; $20 general public 

Artistic License Films is a full service the- 
atrical distributor that works collabora- 
tively with filmmakers on all creative 
aspects of distribution. As a booking 
agent, Artistic provides filmmakers, pro- 
ducers, and distribution companies with 
individualized services to ensure the suc- 
cessful theatrical release of a film. 
Current films include: American 
Astronaut, The Taste of Others, and Sound 
& Fury. Sande Zeig will attend. 

Documentary Dialogues: 
DOCUMENTARY DISASTERS 

When: Tues., Jan. 29th 6:30-8:30. 
Wine & Goldfish reception til 9:30. 
Cost: $5 members; $20 general public 



FILMMAKERS' RESOURCE LIBRARY 
HOURS: TUES.-FRI. 11-6; WED. 11-9 

The AIVF office is located at 304 Hudson St. 

(between Spring & Vandam) 6th fl., in 

New York City. Subways: 1 or 9 to Houston, 

C or E to Spring. Our Filmmakers' Resource 

Library houses hundreds of print and 

electronic resources, from essential 

directories & trade magazines to sample 

proposals & budgets. 

BY PHONE: (212) 807-1400 

Recorded information available 24/7; 
operator on duty Tues.-Fri, 2-5p.m. EST 

BY INTERNET: 

www.aivf.org; info@aivf.org 



Share your horror stories from the docu- 
mentary world and learn in a fun way from 
your peers all those "Thou shall not" and 
"You should always" that will make your 
filmmaking life much easier. 

AIVF at: 

The House of Docs 

2002 Sundance Film Festival 

When: January 11-19 
Where: Park City, UT 
FFI: www.sundance.org 

The House of Docs is a community space 
designed to increase awareness of docu- 
mentary film and provide support to film- 
makers. It cultivates dialogue among film- 
makers, documentary participants, indus- 
try leaders, and the public. The House 
includes opportunities for filmmakers to 
network with each other and meet both 
formally and informally with resource 
advisors, members of the press, and inter- 
national representatives. Roundtable dis- 
cussions, special presentations, and one- 
on-one meetings take place all day long 
on topics ranging from the creative 
process, ethics, and current nonfiction 
trends to development, finance, distribu- 
tion, and exhibition. 

AIVF's co-presented events take place at 
The Gateway Center, 136 Heber Avenue, 
Suite 102 in Park City and are open to all 
festivalgoers. 

AIVF's Pitching to the Pros: 

THE ART OF VERBALLY SELLING 

YOUR PROJECT 

When: Sunday, January 13, 2-4 p.m. 

Part panel discussion, part practice -pitch 
session, AIVF's Pitching to the Pros takes 
an in-depth look at how to perfect your 
pitch, illustrating how producers can put 
their best feet forward when orally pre- 
senting concepts to commissioning edi- 
tors and acquisitions executives. 



Audience members will learn the do's and 
don'ts of delivering their own project 
ideas from advice offered by industry rep- 
resentatives and by also hearing their 
peers publicly pitch their projects for cri- 
tique and discussion. Presented to sold- 
out crowds in New York and 
Philadelphia, AIVF is very pleased to pre- 
sent this program with Sundance's House 
of Docs. 

Open house with media arts organizations: 
AIVF, FILM ARTS FOUNDATION, AND IDA 

When: Sunday, 5-6:30 p.m. 

Meet the executive directors of three 
national media arts organizations that 
have served independent producers for 
over 25 years. 

Individually, AIVF, Film Arts Foundation, 
and The International Documentary 
Association each offer varied resources 
and programs for filmmakers. Collect- 
ively, these organizations preserve the 
cultural space that ensures the voices of 
independent artists will be heard. Find 
out how these media arts organizations 
work for you and the greater documen- 
tary community. 

AIVF Co-Sponsors: 
The Slamdance Film Festival 



RBs^^^^^'S^ 



FILM FESTIVAL 



When: January 11-19 
Where: Park City, UT 
For more information: www.slamdance.com 

Slamdance is a year-round organization 
dedicated to new filmmakers and their 
visions. Now in its eighth year, 
Slamdance has expanded to include On 
The Road Screenings, a very active web- 
site. Anarchy Online, a thriving screen- 
play competition and a "$99 Special" 
short film production wing. 



January/February 2002 THE INDEPENDENT 73 




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AIVF will co-present the "Fireside Chat: 
Alternative Distribution" during the 2002 
Slamdance Festival. Details posted at 
www.aivf.org. 

Meet & Greet: 
DISCOVERY HEALTH CHANNEL 

When: Tues., Feb. 12th, 6:30-8:30 p.m. 
Cost: $5 members; $10 general public 
For more info: www.discoveryhealth.com 

From the people who bring you the 
Discovery Channel, Discovery Health 
Channel takes you inside the world of 
health and medicine with inspiring real 
life stories of individuals and medical 
triumphs. 

Donald Thoms, VP 
of Production, will at- 
tend. Prior to his 
position with Dis- 
covery Health, Mr. 
Thoms was Vice 
President of program 
management at PBS 
where he was respon- 
sible for the packaging and deliver^' of 
PBS's programming services. In addition, 
Thoms evaluated and developed pro- 
gramming projects as well as helped to 
develop on-air promotional initiatives for 
key programs. Don't miss this opportunity' 
to talk with Donald about independents 
on cable and broadcast. 

IN BRIEF: TAXES FOR INDEPENDENTS 

When: Tues., Feb 5th, 6:30-8:30 p.m. 
Cost: $10 AIVF members; 
$20 nonmembers 

Join CPAs Martin Bell (Bell & Co) and 
Steve Cooperberg (Todres & Rubin) in a 
discussion about filing your taxes as a sole 
proprietor, a corporation, or as a limited 
liability company. Members are encour- 
aged to bring their specific concerns. Both 
CPAs are participants in the AIVF Trade 
Discount Program and ofter discounts to 
members on a year-round basis. Here is 
your chance to forge new relationships! 

AIVF Co-Sponsors: 
BLACK MARIA FILM FESTIVAL 

When: Launches Jan. 25 to tour the U.S. 

The Black Maria Film Festival presents 
inventive & provocative work ot any style 



or genre, with featured works screened at 
venues throughout U.S. and Canada. The 
2001 Tour cities included: Washington, 
DC, New York, Cleveland, Philadelphia, 
Chicago, Boston. For more information: 
www.blackmariafilmfestival.com; 
(201) 200-2043 

AIVF Co-Sponsors: 
UNITED STATES SUPER 8MM FILM 
AND DIGITAL VIDEO FESTIVAL 

When: February 15-17 
Where: New Brunswick, N.J. 

This festival spreads the small gauge and 
digital word by celebrating work originat- 
ing on Super 8 film, hi-8, or digital video. 
Toward that end, the Rutgers Film Co- 
op/New Jersey Media Arts Center has 
sponsored seven touring programs, culled 
from past festival winners, which have 
traveled extensively and seen new audi- 
ences. Don't miss this collection of eclec- 
tic work in all shapes and genres. For 
more information: (732) 932-8482; 
www.njfilmiest.com. 

FILMS AT 
THE WALTER READE THEATER 

AIVF members recei\'e discounted 
admission to selected programs. 

Walter Reade 10th Anniversary 
Celebration: January- 2-10 

30th Dance on Camera Festival: 

January 11-12, 18-19 

11 th New York Jewish Film Festival: 

Januars' 1 3-26 

Andrzej Munk Retrospective: 

January- 25-29 

Film Comment Selects the Best of 

2001: February (Date TBA) 

TOOTING THE AIVF HORN 

University' ot Texas at Austin student 
Quan Tran created a 20 sec. PSA which is 
available for festival screenings and 
broadcasts. The PSA contains the mes- 
sage: "You Matter. We Matter. Join. 
www.AIVF.org" It you would like to 
screen the PSA please contact Paul 
Marchant for a copy (members(5 aivforg). 

Quan Tran is a Pre -Med and RTF major. 
He accidentally found his talent tor edit- 
ing in Ellen Spiro's Digital Documentary- 
course. Contact: quanm25 (3 yahoo.com. 



74 THE INDEPENDENT January/February 2002 



The AIVF Regional Salons provide opportunity 
for members to discuss work, meet other inde- 
pendents, share war stories, and connect with 
the AIVF community across the country. Visit 
the Regional Salons section at www.aivf.org for 
more details. 

Be sure to contact your local Salon Leader to confirm 
date, time, and location of the next meeting! 

Albany/Troy, NY: Upstate Independents 

When: First Tuesday of the month, 6:30 pm 
Where: Capital District Arts Ctr., Troy, NY 
Contact: Jeff Burns, (518) 283-7378 
jeff_burns23@yahoo.com 
www.upstateindependents.org 

Atlanta, GA: IMAGE 

When: Second Tuesday of the month, 7 pm 
Where: Redlight Cafe, 553 Amsterdam Ave. 
Contact: Mark Smith, (404) 352-4225 xl2 
www.imagefv.org 

Austin, TX: Austin Film Society 
When: Last Monday of the month, 7 pm 
Contact: Anne del Castillo, (512) 507-8105 
labc@att.net, www.austinfilm.org 

Birmingham, AL: 

When: First Tuesday of the month 

Where: Production Plus, 2910 Crescent Ave., 

Homewood, AL 

Contact: Clay Keith, ckeithl000@yahoo.com 

Karen Scott, WScott9268@aol.com, 

(205) 663-3802 

Boston, MA: 

Contact: Fred Simon, (781) 784-3627 
FSimon@aol.com 




Boulder, CO: "Films for Change" 

Screenings When: First Tuesday of the 

month, 7 pm 

Where: Boulder Public Library, 1000 Arapahoe 

Contact: Patricia Townsend, (303) 442-8445 

patricia@freespeech.org 

Charleston, SC: 

When: Last Thursday of the month, 6:30pm 

Where: Charleston County Library, 

68 Calhoun St. 

Contact: Peter Paolini, (843) 805-6841; 

Peter Wentworth, filmsalon@aol.com 

Cleveland, OH: 

Ohio Independent Film Festival 

Contact: Annetta Marion or Bernadette 
Gillota, (216)651-7315, 
OhioIndieFilmFest@iuno.com 
www.ohiofilms.com 

Dallas, TX: Video Association of Dallas 

Contact: Bart Weiss, (214) 428-8700, 
bart@videofest.org 

Edison, NJ: 

Contact: Allen Chou, (732) 321-0711 

allen@passionriver.com, 

www.passionrivercom 

Houston, TX: SWAMP 

When: Last Tuesday of the month, 6:30pm 
Where: SWAMP 1519 West Main 
Contact: (713) 522-8592, 
swamp@swamp.org 

Huntsville, AL: 

When: Call for schedule 

Where: McClellan's Studios for the 

Dramatic Arts 

Contact: CharlesWhite, 

charles.white@tdsi.com 



THE STATE OF UPSTATE 

Upstate Independents (Ul), the Albany, NY Salon of AIVF, will have a 
grand opening at its new home, The Arts Center of the Capital Region 
(Troy, NY), on February 5. Ul is comprised of over 100 
independent media artists and is among the more active regional net- 
works in the country. 

J ■,, A special presentation of the inaugural VN Spirit Award will be given in 
s^^ honor of Ul member Vicki Ngirailemesang, a longtime member of Ul who 
served as a major volunteer and contributed greatly to the success of Ul since 1996. 

The VN Spirit Award is given in recognition of a Capital Region artist who embodies Vicki's courageous 
independent spirit, freedom of self-expression, generous volunteerism, and determination to champion 
the best, serving as mentor to many colleagues and collaborators. The first ever recipient of the award 
is producer Terry J. Field (member of AIVF and Ul). 

Following the award presentation, there will be a panel discussion on "The State of Upstate Independent 
Media Makers." Speakers include Elizabeth Peters, Executive Director of AIVF; Steve Greenwald, 
President of Audrey Cohen College; and representatives from the New York State Film Office and 
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI). See listing. 



Lincoln, NE: Nebraska Ind. Film Project 

When: Second Wednesday of the month, 

5:30 pm 

Where: Telepro, 1844 N Street 

Contact: Jared Minary, 

mediaarts33@yahoo.com 

www.lincolnne.com/nonprofit/nifp 

Los Angeles, CA: EZTV 

When: Third Monday of the month, 7:30 pm 
Where: EZTV, 1653 18th St., Santa Monica 
Contact: Michael Masucci, (310) 829-3389 
mmasucci@aol.com 

Milwaukee, WI: Milwaukee Independent 
Film Society 

When: First Wednesday of the month, 7pm 
Where: Milwaukee Enterprise Center, 
2821 North 4th, Room 140 
Contact: Dan Wilson, (414) 276-8563 
www.mifs.org/salon 

Portland, OR: 

Contact: Beth Harrington, (503) 223-0407 
betuccia@aol.com 

Rochester, NY: 

When: First Wednesday of the month, 7pm 

(Subject to change; call to confirm schedule) 

Where: Visual Studies Workshop 

Contact: Kate Kressmann-Kehoe, 

(716) 244-8629, ksk@netacc.net 

San Diego, CA: 

Contact: Ethan van Thillo, (619) 230-1938 
aivf@mediaartscenter.org 

Seattle, WA: 

Contact: Heather Ayres, (206) 297-0933 
mybluesun@hotmail.com; Jane Selle Morgan 
(206) 915-6263, jane@heropictures.com 

South Florida: 

Contact: Dominic Giannetti, (561) 313-0330 

themoviebiz@hotmail.com 

www.moviebiz.info 

Tucson, AZ: 

When: First Monday of the month, 6pm 
Where: Access Tucson, 124 E. Broadway 
Contact: Rosarie Salerno, 
yourdestiny@mindspring.com 

Washington, DC: 

Contact: Joe Torres, jatvelez@hotmail.com 
DC Salon hotline (202) 554-3263 x 4, 
aivfdcsalonsubscribe@yahoogroups.com 



Salons are run by AIVF members, often in associa- 
tion with local partners. AIVF has resources to 
assist enthusiastic and committed members who 
wish to start a salon in their own community! 
Please call (212) 807-1400 x236 or e-mail 
members@aivf.org for information! 



January/February 2002 THE INDEPENDENT 75 



AIVF MEMBER BENEFITS & TRADE DISCOUNTS 



AIVF offers many benefits to our members! 
Members can access complete details, includ- 
ing contact information and discount codes, at 
www.aivf.org or by calling (212) 807-1400 x 506 
to have a Benefits List mailed to you. Note that 
you will be required to provide your AIVF mem- 
bership number. 

This information was last updated 11/01 and is 
subject to change without notice. 

New Discounts for members! 

Editing with Solar Films & Spin Cycle Post 

Digital Poster prints with Pixel Printing 

Clothes to keep you warm with Northern Outfitters 

Listings with ProductionClassifieds.com 

Free application process with Park Avenue 
Mortgage Group 

Discount subscription rates to The Hollywood 
Reporter. 

AIVF Offers 

Discounts on FIVF Published Books 

Special prices on AlVF's Guide to International Film & 
Video Festivals, Self-Distribution Toolkit, Exhibitors' 
Guide, and Outreach Toolkit 

AIVF Programs & Events 

Discounted admission to dozens of programs offered or 
co-presented by AIVF across the U.S. 

AIVF Mailing list 

Reach a core group of folks who appreciate indie media! 

Discounted Classified ads in The Independent 

For Business & Nonprofit members: 
Discounted Display ads in The Independent 

Members only: AIVF Conference Room 

Located in NYC office. Seats 20, with VCR and 32" 
monitor 

Members only: short-term desk rental 

Rent a desk and voicemail box at our SoHo office. 

SPLICE! 

Subscription to AlVF's monthly e-zine, SPLICE!, which 
highlights the latest AIVF news, deadlines, and events. 

Members' only web resources 

Interactive resource, classifieds, and benefitsdirecto- 
ries, Funder and Distributor FAQs, plus the field's best 
on-line interactive festival directory: updated weekly! 



Production Insurance 

Special discounted rates on a variety of insurance 
plans with the following companies: 

C & S International Insurance Brokers 

CGA Associates 

Hollywood Script Research 

The JLS Group 

Marvin S. Kaplan Insurance Agency 

Homeowners & Auto Insurance 

CGA Associates 

Health Insurance 

Bader Associates 

Discounts on various plans. 

RBA Insurance Strategies 

Offers a 20-30% discount with HIP (NY only). 

Teigit (for CIGNA health plans) 

CIGNA health plans coverage in limited states. 

Dental Insurance 

Bader Associates 
Teigit/Cigna 

Stock & Expendibles 

Eastman Kodak Co. (New York, NY) 

Preferred rates on film stock for documentaries, or 
narrative shorts or features. 

Edgewise Media - formerly Studio Film & Tape 
(Hollywood, CA) 

10% discount on film and videotape purchases. 

Film Emporium (New York, NY) 

10% off film, video and audio tape. 

Production Resources 

Bee Harris Productions (New York, NY) 

10% discount on all production and editing services. 

Downtown Community TV Center (New York, NY) 

10-20% discount on workshops. Avid & DVC rentals. 

Edgewood Motion Picture & Video Studios 
(Rutland, VT) 

25% off production packages. 

Film Emporium (New York, NY) 

Complimentary consulting on insurance; DVCs for pur- 
chase or rent. 



Film Friends (Miami, FL & New York, NY) 

20% discount on extensive range of equipment rentals. 

Five Points Media (New York, NY) 

50% off digital camera package and book rate for Avid 
editing. 

Glidecam Industries (Plymouth, MA) 

15% discount on body mounted stabilizer systems. 

Hello World Communications (New York, NY) 

15% discount for walkies, audio & video packages. 

Lichtenstein Creative Media (New York, NY) 

15% discount on mini-DV equipment & $750 weekly 
rate on Avid editing facilities. 

Mill Valley Film Group (Mill Valley, CA) 

35% discounts on edit facilities & production packages. 

Production Central (New York, NY) 

10% discount on Beta-SP deck & DV cam rentals 

Soho Audio (New York, NY) 

10% discount on all audio equipment rentals. 

Texcam (Houston, TX) 

10% discount on film camera packages. 

Yellow Cat Productions (Washington, DC) 

Discount off full day video shoot with 2 person crew. 

Labs & Transfer Houses 

Bono Film & Video (Arlington, VA) 

10% discount on normal processing. 

Cinepost (Atlanta, GA) 

Discounts on negative him processing, him-to-video 
transfers and DVD authoring. 

DuArt Film and Video (New York, NY) 

Discounts on case-by-case basis for color negative 
developing, workpnnting, blow-ups and htles. 

I-Stream TV (New York, NY) 

10% off Encoding into Windows Media or RealVideo file. 

Magno Lab Link Film & Video (New York, NY) 

Special rates on developing, printing, sound, transfers. 

Mind's Eye Media (New York, NY) 

10% off dailies, sound transfers, titles and effects. 

Rafik (New York, NY) 

10% off video services, editing, duplication, film-to- 
tape transfers, and foreign video conversion. 

Editing & Postproduction 

AMG Post (Aries Media Group) 
(New York, NY) 

10% discount on all video postproduction services. 



76 THE INDEPENDENT January/February 2002 



Bee Harris Productions (New York, NY) 

10% discount on editing services and facilities. 

Brass Rail IVIusic (New York, NY) 

Discounted film scoring services. 

City Lights IVIedia Group (New York, NY) 

10% discount on Avid rentals and post services. 

Diva Edit (New York, NY) 

10% discount on Avid editing services and facilities. 

Downtown Community TV Center 

Discounts on Avid & DVC rentals, 

DVSVideo, Inc. (NewYork, NY) 

10% discount on all Avid services and duplication. 

Ear Goo, Inc. (New York, NY) 

10-30% off digital audio postproduciton. 

ENTV Studio Productions (New York, NY) 

10% discount on all editing services. 

Harmonic Rancli (New York, NY) 

Discounts on sound editing, music, mixing & design. 

Hello World Communications (New York, NY) 

10% discount on nie system. 

Island Media International (New York, NY) 

50% off Avid editing; sound mix, design, editing; 
DVD/CD authoring, packaging, duplicating. 

Media Loft (New York, NY) 

10% discount on digital/analog/audio production and 
postproduction, dubbing, special effects, and more. 

Mercer Media (New York, NY) 

50% discount on audio services and video editing. 

Mill Valley Film Group (Mill Valley, CA) 

35% discounts on Media 100 SX or Avid. 

Mint Leaf Productions (New York, NY) 

15% off Final Cut Pro Edit System rental. 

Northeast Negative Matchers, Inc. 
(Springfield, MA) 

10% minimum discount on negative cutting services. 

One Art (New York, NY) 

10% discount on Avid rentals. 

Outpost Digital (New York, NY) 

10% discount on editing suite rentals. 

The Picture Room (New York, NY) 

30% discount on Avid rental and editing services. 

Public Interest Video Network (Washington, DC) 

15% discount on postproduction services. 

Rafik(NewYork, NY) 

10% off video editing. 

Random Room (Brooklyn, NY) 

$10 discount off hourly consulting rate (Final Cut Pro, 
IVIedia Cleaner Pro, After Effects). 

Ren Media (Rahway, NJ) 

15% discount on music scoring for film/video. 



,iri_ 



The Foundation for Independent Video and Film (FIVF), the educational affiliate 
of the Association for Independent Video and Filmmakers (AIVF), supports a 

~°^' variety of programs and services for the 
independent media community, including 
publication of The Independent and a series of resource publications, seminars 
and workshops, and information services. 

None of this work would be possible without the generous support of the AIVF 
membership and the following organizations: 



NYSCA 



The Academy Foundation 

The Mary Duke Biddle Foundation 

The Chase Manhattan Foundation 

Forest Creatures Entertainment, Inc. 



The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation 

The John D. and Catherine T. 
MacArthur Foundation 

The National Endowment for the Arts 

New York State Council on the Arts 



We also wish to thank the following individuals and organizational members: 

BUSineSS/fndU ' " '"erS: CA: Actlon/Cut Directed By Seminars; Attaboc LLC; 

Busk Entertainment, LLC; Calliope Films, Inc.; Eastman Kodak Co.; Film Society of Ventura County; 
Forest Creatures Entertainment Co.; Groovy Like a Movie; HBO; Moonstiadow Production & Research, 
MPRM; SJPL Films, Ltd.; Somford Entertainment; CO: Ttie Crew Connection; Inferno Film Productions; 
FL: Bakus Internatinal, Inc/ Odysseas Entertainment, Inc.; Burn Productions; IL: Rock Valley College; 
Wiggle Puppy Productions; Wonderdog Media; MA: CS Associates; Glidecam Industries; MD: The Learning 
Channel; U.S. Independents, Inc.; Ml: Grace & Wild Studios, Inc.; Kingberry Productions, Inc.; MN: Allies; 
Media/Art; NJ: DIVA Communications, Inc.; NY: AKQ Communications, Ltd.; American Montage; Analog 
Digital Intl., Inc.; Asset Pictures; Black Bird Post; Bluestocking Films, Inc.; Bravo Film and Video; The 
Bureau for At-Risk Youth; C-Hundred Film Corporation; Cineblast! Prods.; Corra Films; Cypress Films; 
Dependable Delivery Inc.; Dr. Reiff and Assoc.; Earth Video; Guerilla News Network; Highdrama 
Productions Inc.; Historic Films Archive; Human Relations Media; Hypnotic; Inkling Prods.; Jalapeno 
Media; KL Lighting; Mad Mad Judy; Mercer Street Sound; Metropolis Film Lab Inc.; Mixed Greens; New 
Rican Filmmaker; New York Independent Film School; One Kilohertz; The Outpost; Partisan Pictures; 
Paul Dinatale Post, Inc.; Post Typhoon Sky Inc.; Seahorse Films; Son Vida Pictures, LLC; Suitcase 
Productions; Swete Studios; Tribune Pictures; Wolfen Prods.; OR: Angel Station Corp.; PA: Cubist Post & 
Effects; Smithtown Creek Prods.; TX: Upstairs Media Inc.; UT: KBYU-TV; Rapid Video, LLC; VA: Bono Film 
& Video; Dorst MediaWorks; Roland House, Inc.; WV: Harpers Ferry Center Library 

Nonprofit Members: AL: Sidewalk Moving Picture Fest.; AZ: U of Arizona; Scottsdale 
Community Coll.; U of Central Arkansas/ Channel 5 Television; CA: Antelope Valley Independent Film 
Festival; California Newsreel; Filmmakers Alliance; International Buddhist Film Festival; Itvs; LEF 
Foundation; Los Angeles Film Commission; Media Fund; NAATA; Ojai Film Soc; Reach L.A.; San 
Francisco Jewish Film Fest.; USC School of Cinema TV; DC: Corporation for Public Broadcasting; Media 
Access Project; FL: Manatee Community College; GA: Image Film & Video Center; HI: Aha Punana Leo; 
U. of Hawaii Outreach College; ID: Center for School Improvement; IL: Art Institute of ChicagoA/ideo Data 
Bank; Chicago Underground Film Fest.; Community TV Network; PBS Midwest; Rock Valley Coll.; Roxie 
Media Corporation; KY: Appalshop; MA: CCTV; Long Bow Group Inc.; Lowell Telecommunications Corp.; 
LTC Communications; Projectile Arts; Somerville Community TV; MD: Laurel Cable Network; Ml: Ann Arbor 
Film Fest.; MN: Intermedia Arts; Walker Arts Center; IFP North; MO: Webster University Film Series; 
NC: Cucaloris Film Foundation; Doubletake Documentary Film Fest.; Duke University-Film and Video; 
NE: Great Plains Film Festival; Nebraska Independent Film Proj., Inc.; Ross Film Theater, UN/Lincoln; 
NJ: Black Maria Film Festival; Great Vision Filmwork, Inc.; NM: Taos Talking Pictures; NY: American 
Museum of Natural History; Art 21; Cinema Arts Center; CUNY TV Tech Program; Communications 
Society; Cornell Cinema; Council for Positive Images, Inc.; Creative Capital Foundation; Dependable 
Delivery; Donnell Media Center; Downtown Community TV; Film Forum; Film Society of Lincoln Center: 
Globalvision, Inc.; Guggenheim Museum SoHo; John Jay High School; Konscious, Inc.; Listen Up! 
Manhattan Neighborhood Network; National Black Programming Consortium; National Video Resources: 
New York Film Academy; NW&D Inc.; NYU TV Center; New York Women in Film and TV; OVO, Inc.; 
Paper Tiger TV; School of Visual Arts; Squeaky Wheel; Standby Program; Stony Brook Film Festival 
Thirteen/WNET; Upstate Films, Ltd.; Women Make Movies; OH: Cleveland Filmmakers; Greater Cincinnati 
I & Northern Kentucky Film Commission; Media Bridges Cincinnati; Ohio Independent Film Fest.; Ohio 
' University/Film; Wexner Center; OR: Communication Arts, MHCC; Northwest Film Center; PA: DUTV/Cable 
54; PA Council on the Arts; Carnegie Museum of Art; Prince Music Theater; Scribe Video Center; Temple 
University; University of the Arts; WYBE Public TV 35; Rl: Flickers Arts Collaborative; SC: South Carolina 
Arts Commission; TN: Nashville Independent Film Fest; TX: Austin Cinemaker Co-op; Austin Film Society; 
Michener Center for Writers; Southwest Alternate Media Project; Worldfest Houston; UT: Sundance 
Institute; WA: Seattle Central Community College; Wl: UWM Dept. of Film; Wisconsin Film Office; Canada: 
Toronto Documentary Forum/Hot Does; France: The Camargo Foundation; Germany: International Shorts 
Film Festival; India: Foundation for Universal Responsibility 

Friends of FIVF: Ullses Arlstldes, Bakus International, David Bemis, Michael Bernstein, 
Barbara Caver, Arthur Dong, Aaron Edison, John Franco, Giovanni Ghidini, Suzanne Griffin, Christopher 
Gomersall, Patricia Goudvis, Leigh Hanlon, Robert L. Hawk, Henrietta Productions, Jewish Communal 
Fund, Laura Kim, Bart Lawson, Elizabeth Mane, Diane Markrow, William Payden, PKXH, Possible Films, 
Robert L. Seigel, Mary Smith, Diana Takata, Rhonda Leigh Tanzman, Mark Vanbork 



January/February 2002 THE INDEPENDENT 77 



mercerMEDIA 

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VO recording, ADR, and foley 
Original music and sound effects 
Non-linear video editing 
Streaming media services 
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Alan Berliner 

The Sweetest Sound 

FAIRness & Accuracy in Reporting 
Counterspin 



Sandi Simcha Dubowski 
Trembling Before G-d 



Robert Clift & Salome Skvirsky 

Stealing Home: 

The Case of Contemporary Cuban Baseball 



Lynne Sachs 
Investigation of a Flame 

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Roland House (Arlington, VA) 

10% off all post production services. 

Solar Filnis(New York, NY) 

10-25% off Avid editing, sound mixing, and dubs. 

Sound Dimensions Editorial (New York, NY) 

10% discount on transfers, effects, and sound studio 
services: foley, ADR, narration, mixing. 

Spin Cycle Post (New York, NY) 

Minimum 10% off weekly and hourly rates for Avid 
suite rentals, sound design/editing, and ADR recording. 

Splash Studios (New York, NY) 

35% on hourly looping and sound editing fees. 

Tandem Studios, LLC (New York, NY) 

15% discount on sound design/mixes/audio post. 

Tiny Lights, Inc. (New York, NY) 

25% discount on all music and sound design services. 

Video Active Productions (New York, NY) 

15-30% discount on all editing services and facilities. 

Virgin Moon Post (Ventura, CA) 

20% discount on all postproduction services. 

Yellow Cat Productions (Washington, DC) 

15% off any Avid editing. 

Other Production Services 

Final Draft, Inc. 

Discounts on Final Draft screenwriting software. 

Image Design Studio (New York, NY) 

20-30% discounts on various graphic design services. 

Pixel Printing (New York, NY) 

15% off all digital poster prints. 

ProductionClassifieds.com 

10% off online classified listings. 

Publications 

Drama Book Shop (New York, NY) 

15% discount with card on all purchases. 

The Hollywood Reporter 

Discount subsciption rates on daily and weekly trade. 



Clothing 



Northern Outfitters (Draper, UT) 

10% discount off all cold weather clothing. 

Amenities 

Cinema Village (New York, NY) 

Discounted ticket prices: $7.00 for AIVF members. 

Film Society of Lincoln Center (New York, NY) 

Discounted ticket prices for select series. 

Two Boots (New York, NY) 

10% discount at all NYC restaurant branches, the Den 
of Cin exhibition space, and Two Boots Video. 



Car Rental 

Members receive discounts on car rentals with: 
Alamo; Avis; Budget; Hertz; National. 

Hotels 

Discounts within Choice Hotels International chain, 
including Quality Inn, Comfort Inn, Sleep Inn, Clarion 
Hotels, EconLodge, Rodeway Inn, and Mainstay Suites 
locations. 

Internet Services 

Echo Communications Group, Inc. 

25% off commercial and non-profit web hosting pack- 
ages & various SLP/PPP accounts. 

Legal Consulting 

Consultation; discount on legal services with the 
following firms: 

Daniel, Seigel and Bimbler, LLC (New York, NY) 

Cowan, DeBaets, Abrahams & Sheppard 
(New York, NY) 

Stephen Mark Goldstein (New York, NY) 

Law Offices of Mark Litwak (Beverly Hills, CA) 

Ivan Saperstein, Attorney at Law 
(New Rochelle, NY) 

Law Offices of Miriam Stern (New York, NY) 

Financial Services 

Bell & Co., LLP (New York, NY) 

Free consultation on tax issues. 

Guardian Life Insurace (New York, NY) 

Discounts on life and disability insurance plans. 

Media Services (New York, NY) 

10% discount on the handling fee for payroll services. 

Merrill Lynch (New York, NY) 

Offers an all-inclusive checking, savings, money market 
account for small businesses. 

Park Avenue Mortgage Group (New York, NY) 

Free application process when securing mortgages. 

Premiere Tax & Accounting Services (NY NY) 

25-40% off various tax returns and services. 

Todres & Company, LLP (New York, NY) 

Free tax consulting. 10-15% discount on annual fees. 

Counseling Services 

Michelle Frank, CSW 

10% discount on career development and psychotherapy 
services. 

To receive all the benefits of 

membership, visit www.aivf.org or call 

212/807-1400 to join AIVF today! 



78 THE INDEPENDENT January/February 2002 






BY Jason Guerrasio 



A guy down on his luck tries to figure out 
where he belongs in Draftdodging. After 
getting fired from his crappy job, Berg 
decides to go back to his hometown in 
New Hampshire to find his own path in 
life. Along for the ride are his cousins, 
who are also in the same soul-searching 
mode. "Basically they are trying to find a 
place that is better than where they are in 
now," explains Garen Wiesen, the direc- 
tor/producer of the film. Wiesen and 
friend Hugh Easton took on the project 
when it was at a standstill in develop- 
ment. After a test screening in Boston last 
August the movie has gotten nothing but 
praise. Wiesen is currently looking for a 
distributor. Contact: Allen Bush at (617) 
357-6997; allen@stratocomm.com. 

Randy Credico has had an interesting life. 
First a stand-up comedian, then a coordi- 
nator of campaign benefit parties, now an 
activist fighting the Rockefeller drug laws 
(prison sentences for anyone convicted of 
a drug crime, no matter how small), he 
definitely has a story to tell. Close friend 
and comedian Laura Kightlinger thought 
so when she decided to do a documentary 
about Credico called Sixty Spins Around 
the Sun, which follows his mission to fight 
the Rockefeller law. But Kightlinger never 
expected it to be so tough when she start- 
ed the project five years ago. "I was telling 
this friend I feel that I could write the 
jackass's guide to how to make a docu- 
mentary," she says. After making a few 
"expensive mistakes," Kightlinger is close 
to finishing a rough-cut of the film. And 
then it'll be on to the festival circuit. 
Contact: Cascade Pass, Inc. (310) 305- 
0210. 




On the set of the ground breaking show Crossroads. 

Writer/director Quentin 
Kelly penned the script six 
years ago, but with no 
experience under his belt 
he had to put his dream of 
making the movie on hold. 
"I really wanted to do it 
but I didn't have any expe- 
rience so I wrote, directed, 
and edited three shorts all 
with the theme of North of 
DuPont in mind," Kelly 
says. After the third short, 
Kelly felt prepared to start production on 
the feature. His main goal was to show a 
city that was more than just the White 
House and historic memorials. "Most 
people don't see D.C. as a neighborhood 
town, they think of the mall area, they 
think pohtics; but 1 wanted to tell a story 
about people in a neighborhood, a D.C. 
that people outside of Washington don't 
know about." Contact: Quentin Kelly at 
(202) 986-3127; check out the trailer at 
www.northofdupont.com. 




The Letter Writer 



Showcasing the beautiful landscape of The purpose of the show Crossroads is to 



Washington D.C, North of DuPont is a 
romantic comedy that follows two friends 
trying to make ends meet and find love in 
the rural area of DuPont Circle. 



highlight some of today's great musicians 
who have not been commercially recog- 
nized. Last September producer/director 
Bradley Latham finished the pilot 



episode, which showcased "Texas" Johnny 
Brown, Chris Duarte, Bugs Henderson, 
and Chris Thomas King (you may remem- 
ber him in O' Brother Where Art Thou? 
as the guitarist in The Soggy Bottom 
Boys) . What distinguishes this from other 
music shows is that it was done through 
fiber optic transmissions. Latham worked 
in a control room in 
^ Dallas, Texas, while the 
I performers and crew were 
8 taping simultaneously in a 
3 studio in Houston. "1 did 
5 the art direction over 
I monitors and everything 
3 was sent back to Dallas 
where I mixed it live to 
tape," Latham says. "All 
the major media people 
were there. They all want- 
ed to see if we could pull 
off real-time remote trans- 
missions in broadcast 
quality." It was a success. 
Now with the first episode 
finished, Latham is pitch- 
ing the show. Contact: 
Bradley Latham at (917) 
596-4621. 

The horrors of World War 
II and the mission of one 
man to capture the images 
' on film is at the center of 
The Letter Writer, the first 
attempt at directing for vet- 
eran special effects artist 
focuses on war jgffery A. Cox. "The story's 
about the individual soldier 
and the struggles of being an individual," 
Cox says. To show the struggle Cox 
thought of no one better to be the main 
focus point but the ones who had to film 
the war. "The combat photographer's job 
is to find war and record it, he can't 
become numb to it, he can't just pass 
death without seeing it, he must show it." 
Hundreds of World War II veterans and 
re -enactors are donating materials such 
as tanks, flame throwers, machine guns, 
tents, and uniforms for the project. "I 
have equipment to rival Saving Private 
Ryan and The Thin Red Line," Cox boasts. 
He plans to start shooting in the spring 
and is currently looking for funding. 
Contact: No Joke Productions Inc., (610) 
338-0412; nojoke(a,'bellatlantic.net. 



January/February 2002 THE INDEPENDENT 79 




llShes 



BY Beth Pinsker 



"Action," calls Rodney 
Evans — one little word 
he must have been 
waiting to say for a long 
time. His crew rolls pic- 
ture and sound, the 
actors say their lines, 
and Brother to Brother 
begins to take shape on 
celluloid. 

The day is beautiful, 
crisp enough for jack- 
ets, with the sun casting 
wonderful shadows 
against the building on 
2nd St. in the East 
Village where 20 people 
are congregated with 
equipment. In this 
scene on day three of 
the shoot, Perry 
(Anthony Mackie) is 
lounging on a stoop talking to his friend 
Marcus (Larry Gilliard Jr.) when the 
Harlem Renaissance poet Richard Bruce 
Nugent (Earle Hyman) ambles along on 
shaky legs to recite a hit of his work. 

The whole sequence only takes a few 
minutes, but Evans wants coverage so 
they're out in the street for about four 
hours altogether, until 2 p.m. This is after 
having shot another scene in the morning 
and on the way to spending the afternoon 
at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe, where they 
have to be out by 4:30 p.m. 

Cars stream down the street. A plane 
flies overhead. A construction crew across 
the way runs a buzz saw while building 
scaffolding. Pedestrians stop to gawk. A 
man comes out of his office at the base of 
the stoop, opening the gate and almost 
running into Hyman as he approaches his 
mark. Life goes on in New York. 

"We didn't lock down the street, that's 
been a real issue," Evans says wearily 
when he gets up from his field monitor 
between takes to stretch his legs. 




On the set of Brother to Brother in the East Village. 



There's not much to do about it at this 
point, though, other than ha\L' the boom 
operator lean in close and keep things as 
quiet as they can close up to the action. 

And that's where assistant director 
Patrick Gibbons comes in, pacing the 15 
feet of "set," calling commands into his 
headset to the guy up the street directing 
traffic, and keeping things mo\'ing along. 
There is a lot ot repetition going on to get 
the coverage, but there isn't any ot that 
endless wasted time — at least not for the 
primary crew. The extras for the 
Nuyorican had an 11:30 call tor what 
turns out to be an actual 2:30 start time, 
but that's hardly anything in mo\'ie time. 

For that scene, Marcus is up on stage 
performing a poem, and Perr>', sitting in 
the audience, catches a glimpse ot 
Nugent at the bar out ot a corner of his 
eye. A small crew rushes around to dress 
the set when the crew finally shows up 
from the other location. They don't ha\'e 
that much to do, since the Nuyorican is 
just going to be shot as is, with its exposed 



brick walls and dusty stage happily 
authentic. 

It's not exactly toasty inside, but the 
crew is content because, finally, there's a 
craft services table, and the hungry group 
descends upon the chocolate covered 
pretzels and goldfish. But they aren't 
allowed to touch the ginger ale, apple 
juice, and cranberry- juice 
that are doubling for 
drinks. 

There's a minor flap 
when Gibbons figures out 
that the PA. took the van 
to get the bulk lunch 
order, and there's still a 
camera at the other loca- 
tion that needs to be 
1^..-M picked up before cine- 
Vlf , matographer Harlan Bos- 
,^ majian {Lovely and 
Ainazing) can finish set- 
) ting up. The extra 20 min- 
utes is killing him. 

Evans, sitting on a crate 
on the sidewalk eating a 
slice of pizia, keeps himself 
blissfully calm. 

The crew is moving 

along swiftly because they 

only have a week to shoot. 

When they didn't get all 

the money in by deadline, E\-ans and his 

producers made the decision to just go 

ahead and get done what they could. The 

break actually might have had to happen 

anyway, since Mackie got a part in Curtis 

Hanson's new movie, which has an 

ensemble cast including Eminem, Mekhi 

Phifer, and Kim Basinger. 

Over six days, they ended up shooting 
12 hours ot film, including two ot the peri- 
od scenes, which works out to roughly 25 
percent ot the film. Evans will edit togeth- 
er a tape and send it out to potential fun- 
ders, one being the national Black 
Programming Consortium, which funds 
African-American projects through PBS. 
"What happens now.'" Evans asks later, 
when he's sitting at a borrowed Avid late 
on a Friday evening logging tape and 
beginning to edit. "I sit here tor a week or 
two and edit. It's going to be a long haul 
tor this baby." 

For more information contact the film- 
maker at rodneyevans(a earthlink.net. 



80 THE INDEPENDENT Januan'/Fehruary 2002 



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Publisher/Acting Editor: Elizabeth Peters 

leditor@aivf.orgl 

Managing Editor: Cleo Cacoulidis 
lcleo@aivf.orgl 

Intern: Jason Guerrasio 

lintern@aivf.orgl 

Contributing Editors: Richard Baimbridge, 

Robert Goodman, Bo IVIehrad, Cara Mertes, 

Robert L. Seigei, Esq., Patricia Thomson 

Design Director: Daniel Christmas 

lstartree@speedsite,com| 

Advertising Director: Laura D, Davis 

(212) 807-1400 X. 225; ldisplayads@aivf.orgl 

Classified Advertising: James Israel 

(212) 807-1400 X. 241; lclassifieds@aivf.org] 



National Distribution: 
Ingram Periodicals (800) 627-6247 



POSTMASTER: Send address ciianges tO; 
The Independent Film & Video Monthly. 304 Hudson St, 6 fl, New York, NY 10013 

The Independent Film & Video Monthly (ISSN 0731-5198) is published monthly 
(except combined Issues lanuary/Tebruary and luly/August) by the Toundation for 
Independent Video and Film (FIVF), a 501(c)(3) dedicated to the advancement of media 
arts and artists. Subscription to the magazine is included In annual membership dues 
($55/yr Individual; $35/yr student; $100/yr nonprofit/school; $150/yr business/industry) 
paid to the Association of Independent Video and Filmmakers (AIVF), the national profes- 
sional association of individuals involved in independent film and video. Library 
subscriptions are $75/yr Contact: AIVF 304 Hudson St., 6 ft. New York, NY 10013, 
(212) 807-1400; fax: (212) 463-8519; info@aivf.org. 

Periodical Postage paid at New York, New York and at additional mailing offices. 
Printed in the USA by Cadmus lournal Services. 

^M Publication of The Independent is made possible in part with public 

«^Tr!^.L '""''^ ^""^ ""^ ^^^ '^"'^ ^*^*^ '''"'"'^'' "" ""^ ^'^^' ^ ^'^'^ ^Sency. and 
!o"°°h""'."I the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency 

Publication of any ad In The Independent does not constitute an endorsement. 
AIVF/FIVF are not responsible tor any claims made in an ad. All contents are copynght of 
the Foundation for Independent Video and Film, Inc. Reprints require written permission 
and acknowledgement of the article's previous appearance in The Independent 
The Independent is indexed in the Alternative Press Index and is a member of the 
Independent Press Association. 

AIVF/FIVF staff: Elizabeth Peters, executive director; Alexander Spencer, deputy director; 
Michelle Coe, program director; Priscilla Grim, membership coordinator; James Israel, 
Bo Mehrad, information services associates; Greg Gilpatrick, Joshua Sanchez, web 
consultants; Bengt Anderson, Sue freel, Avrll Speaks, interns; AIVF/FIVF legal counsel: 
Robert I. Freedman, Esq. Cowan, DeBaets, Abrahams & Sheppard. 

AIVF/FIVF Boards of Directors; Angela Alston, Doug Block, Liz Canner, Paul Espinosa, 
Vivian Kleiman, Jim McKay, Elizabeth Peters (ex officio), Alex Rivera*, James Schamus*. 
Gail Silva*, Valerie Soe, Ellen Spiro, Rahdi Taylor, Jim VincenL Jane Wagner*, Bart Weiss, 
Debra Zimmerman*. *FI«F Board of Directors only. 

© Fountiation for Independent Video & FilfTi, Inc. 2002 
Visit The Independent online at: wviw.aivf.org 




37 Four Part Harmony 

TrioTV documents the creative process. 
BY Farrin Jacobs 

38 IFC Films and 

The Business of Synergy 

Sr. VP Bob Berney discusses marketing 
and the joys of success. 

BY Patricia Thomson 




2 THE INDEPENDENT March 2002 



Upfront 

5 Editor's Note 
7 Letter 
9 News 

Flaherty does digital; U.S. 
protests runaway production; 
Academy's doc branch; briefs. 

BY Kathy Brew; 
Jason Guerrasio; 
Elizabeth Peters 

15 Field Report: 
Boston 

BY Pat Thomson, 
Richard Baimbridge 

18 Profiles 

Stanley Nelson goes digital; 
Chuck Workman gets dramatic. 

BY Scott Meserve; 
Stephen Totilo 

21 Opinion 

Plan to preserve your work. 
BY RUTA AbOLINS 

23 Books 

The Garden in the Machine; 
Breaking In: Houi 20 Directors 
Got Their Start. 

BY Belinda Baldwin; 
Bo Mehrad 

24 DVD 

Revisiting Medium Cool. 
BY D.K. Holm 

26 Festival Circuit 

Documenting Sundance; 
IDFA looks at society and war; 
Ivy Film Fest. 

BY Patricia Thomson; 
Henry Lewes; 
Macauley Peterson 




Departments 



43 Legal 



Self defense for screenwriters. 

BY Mark Litwak, Esq. 

46 Wired Blue Yonder 

New accessories for the 
XLl/XLls; choosing the best 
OS for digital work. 

BY Robert Goodman; 
Greg Gilpatrick 

50 On View 

Work to watch for 

BY Jason Guerrasio 



51 Festivals 
55 Notices 
58 Classifieds 



@fllVF 

60 Events 
63 Salons 



Cover photo by Daniel Daza 



March 2002 THE INDEPENDENT 3 



It's like a 



great dbreStlXI. 



You're • <• x 

at this intimate 



filmfestivaPh'aXtobe 

^"beautiful, 

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■-rm^' ^ - uiii I drinking 1*11111 and 

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The 5th Bermuda International Film Festival brings the fantasy 

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See an impressive body of entries from emerging and 

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(i 



Dear Readers, 



Music can be an integral component of 
moving image media. Insidiously suasive, 
it can bring images to new planes of 
meaning. . .or simply overpower them. It is 
likely to be one of the most expensive ele- 
ments of a low budget production, and 
incorrect clearances can keep a program 
from every being seen. 

How should indies work with music? 
This issue provides inspiration and infor- 
mation, from Richard Baimbridge's profile 
of director/composer relationships to 
Tamara Krinsky's assemblage of advice 
from experts. Boston's "Field Report" 
gives center stage to repertory composers 
Alloy Orchestra, and Farrin Jacobs 
describes the behind the scenes look at 
larger budget recording sessions from Trio 
Cable's The Score. 

On the festival circuit, Pat Thomson 
reports on the Sundance Institute's 
expanded support of documentaries, and 
highlights a few standouts from this year's 
festival. Henry Lewes describes the tenor of 
Amsterdam's International Documentary 
Forum and the program's focus on world 
issues, and Macauley Peterson brings us 
into the hallowed corridors of The Ivy 
Film Festival. 

If you're a filmmaker grappling with a 
new form, you'll relate to our profiles: 
accomplished filmmaker Stanley Nelson 
tries on DV for a personal project, and 
Chuck Workman (you know him from 
those soaring Academy Awards mon- 
tages) embarks on a dramatic feature. 

On the practical side, Mark Litwak, 
Esq. helps elucidate the rights of individ- 
uals, while Greg Gilpatrick reviews 
Macintosh and PC operating systems to 
see which provides the best platform for 
DV editors. Robert Goodman field tests a 
number of new accessories for the 
XLl/XLls. 

I've been publisher of The Independent 
for the past three years (and a reader for 
12), but this is my first go round as editor 
(Beth Pinsker stepped down after assign- 
ing this issue in December). I'm happy to 
welcome Cleo Cacoulidis as managing 
editor; we'll be putting out the next few 
issues together while AIVF hires a new 
editor. As always, we welcome your input! 

Elizabeth Peters 

publisher/acting editor 

editor@aivf.org 



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December 7, 2001 

Dear AIVF members and board: 

As videomakers working in forms other 
than traditional feature length narrative 
and documentary, we feel a great sense of 
disappointment in the direction The 
Independent has taken over the past few 
years. The organization, and the publica- 
tion in particular have increasingly 
pushed the needs and concerns of artists 
working in experimental documentary 
and narrative forms, political and activist 
media, short form, installation, video art, 
and new media to the sidelines. It seems 
there is a blatant preference for serving 
the needs of those who aspire to work 
commercially in television and in 
Hollywood. Of course everyone should be 
supported in pursuing their aspirations, 
but isn't this type of work represented in 
many publications on the newsstand 
already? 

Those of us who truly work indepen- 
dently go largely unrepresented, without a 
single publication that addresses our need 
for information on technology, news 
about others working in similar forms, or 
reviews of festivals that feature this type 
of work. Little of relevance to this com- 
munity can be found in today's The 
Independent. Even the festival section 
overlooks many of the media art festivals 
that are important to us. AIVF's continu- 
ing marginalization of this community 
represents a disturbing trend in a time 
when so much independent media is 
being compromised by corporate interests. 

There is entirely too much attention 
being focused on those working on calling 
card projects, using the "Indie Feature" as 
a stepping stone to gain access to the 
commercial world. It appears that AIVF's 
opinion is that the so-called world of 
independent mediamaking is just one 
degree removed from Hollywood. We fear 
that the reason the organization has taken 
this turn is the quest for money. We real- 
ize that is something artists working in 
independent media don't have much of, 
but we have been part of AIVF's core 
constituency from its inception. 

Please give us a truly independent 
Independent back. 

Sincerely, 

Studio One: 

an informal group of video artists 



Dear AIVF members and Studio One: 

Certainly it is AIVF's mission to support the 
independent community in its desire to make 
work, often labored on outside traditional 
funding or distribution systems, that is person- 
al, often political, and wonderfully difficult to 
define. While there is no organization that 
could not be improved — AIVF emphatically 
included — I do not agree that the organization 
and the magazine have buckled under finan- 
cial pressure to give inordinate attention to 
the so-called calling card film. Looking at the 
magazine over the past several years one sees 
numerous articles on telecommunications pol- 
icy, the emergence of digital technologies, self- 
distribution, social issue outreach, experimen- 
tal and underground film festivals, and por- 
traits of a wide array of film artists. Even 
when widely seen films such as Crouching 
Tiger, Hidden Dragon appear in The 
Independent, they are used as a jumping off 
point to explore subjects more relevant to inde- 
pendents; in this case, the inner workings of 
the small production-house -that- could, Good 
Machine. Against our financial interests, but 
to maintain the integrity of the organization, 
the board has repeatedly and forcefully reject- 
ed seeking corporate support for the magazine 
outside of paid advertising. We agree that cor- 
porate interests compromise the construction 
of media that is truly independent. 

This brings us to a central dilemma con- 
tinually facing AIVF: how to be responsive to 
a membership as gloriously broad and diverse 
as ours. We are aware that focusing on one 
part of our constituency inevitably means 
overlooking others. We ask that you look at 
the organization as a whole over a period of 
years to see our commitment to the indepen- 
dent community. 

Your letter is generating conversation with- 
in the organization and this is a good thing. 
You say that the magazine is overlooking fes- 
tivals that feature the independent work you 
describe; let us know which festivals so we 
may include them. Your description of what 
you hope for from AIVF is deeply consistent 
with the board's vision for the organization. 
From where I sit, we are in the same boat. 

Robb Moss 
President, AIVF 

For the texts of these letters and a com- 
plete list of signatories, as well as the 
opportunity to weigh in with your own 
thoughts, visit www.aivf.org. 



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Outreach Toolkit 



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other essential resources for independents: 

The AIVF Guide to Film & Video Distributors 

Kathryn Bowser, ed.; ©1996; $12 

The Next Step: Distributing Independent Films and Videos 

Morrie Warshawski, ed.; ©1995; $24.95 



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Retailers: contact national distributor Ingram Periodicals (800) 627-6247 

Institutions: use your EBSCO, Faxon, Blackwells, or other subscription service 

The Independent Film and Video Monthly ISSN: 0731-0589 © Foundation for Independent Video and Film 








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Michelle Coe, ed.; ©2001; $35 / $25 members 



The AIVF Film and Video Exhibitors Guide 

Kathryn Bowser, ed.; ©2000; $35 / $25 members 

The AIVF Film and Video Self-Distribution Toolkit 

loannis Mookas, ed.; ©1999; $30/ $20 members 

•both Self Distribution titles $60 / $40 members 

The AIVF Guide to Film & Video Distributors 

Kathryn Bowser, ed.; ©1996; $12 

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(open 11-6 Tuesday, Thursday, Friday; 11-9 Wednesday) for instant gratification! 




The Dialectic of Digital Dialogues 

Flaherty Does Digital by kathy brew 



Since 1995 International Film Seminars, 
which presents the annual Robert 
Flaherty Film Seminar, has included digi- 
tal and web 'based media in their seven- 
day intensive seminar designed to foster 
exploration, dialogue, and introspection 
into the art of the moving image. Artists 
like Shu Lea Cheang, Kevin and Jennifer 
McCoy, Zoe Beloff, and Philip Mallory 
Jones have presented their works at past 
film seminars. Additionally, over the past 
few years IFS has organized intermittent 
programming with a digital focus in col- 
laboration with other media presenters. 

But IFS director Somi Roy began to 
recognize that there was a real need in the 
field for artists working with new tech- 
nologies to benefit more deeply from the 
Flaherty tradition. And so the first Digital 
Flaherty took place from November 16- 
18, a pilot program presented in coopera- 
tion with Integrated Electronic Arts at 
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), 



with funding support from the Rockefeller 
Foundation. Digital Flaherty comprised a 
weekend-long, intensive mini seminar 
with the presentation of media by artists 
for their peers and other interested pro- 
fessionals. 

Initially scheduled for the first weekend 
in October, the program was postponed to 
November after the tragic events of 
September 11th. Besides the fact that the 
IFS office is located two blocks from 
where the World Trade Center used to 
stand, and was displaced for two weeks 
following the terrorist attacks, the plan- 
ning committee also felt that the seminar 
would take place too soon to engage peo- 
ple in a digital dialogue. 

Modeled on the Robert Flaherty Film 
Seminar, Digital Flaherty featured screen- 
ings, group discussions, and interactive 
presentations. The programs were select- 
ed by input from a committee comprised 
of media arts aficionados: Sally Berger, 



Kathy Rae Huffman, Branda Miller, Neil 
Rolnick, Carol Stakenas, Mary Ellen Strom, 
Igor Vamos, Chris Cxikszentmilhayli, and 
myself, Kathy Brew. 

Digital Flaherty provided a forum for 
artists, theorists, programmers, and engi- 
neers to examine the ideas, the aesthetics, 
and the politics of digital media. Like the 
Robert Flaherty Film Seminar, Digital 
Flaherty offered participants the opportu- 
nity to meet emerging and established 
artists in an intimate environment, 
emphasizing the immediacy of personal 
interaction and the benefits of a collective 
group experience. 

Digital Flaherty brought together nine- 
ty participants who joined some of the 
foremost artists and innovators in the 
field. Presenters included: Amy Goodman 
from Democracy Now!, DeeDee Halleck, 
Igor Vamos, Alex Rivera, Tirtza Even, 
Jennifer and Kevin McCoy, Toni Dove, 
Demetri Terzopoulous, a keynote address 



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by Sandy Stone, performances by Paul 
Vanouse, Art Jones and Gabriel Cyr, 
Sissyfight, Graham Harwood from the 
UK, Julia Heyward, and Grahame 
Weinbren. Participants engaged in lively 
and spirited discussions on the artistic use 
of digital technology and its connections 
to activism, narrative, documentary, 
interactivity, and gaming applications. 

According to Heyward, who presented 
her work in an interactive context where 
participants were able to drive the work 
while she "conducted" from the front of 
the room, "Digital Flaherty was a great 
beta test for my DVD prototype. Miracles 
in Reverse. Having a room full of new 
media professionals and students driving 
my interactive work was hyper informa- 
tive and fun. I thought overall the fea- 
tured work was strong, especially in 
regards to content. I felt honored to he 
included in the festival and in the com- 
munion of such strongly committed 
artists, curators, thinkers, and new media 
supporters." 

It is this kind of cross-pollination that 
Digital Flaherty hopes to foster, as well as 
new partnerships that may become the 
fabric of future Digital Flahertys. Inspired 
by the success of Digital Flaherty, 
International Film Seminars is planning to 
present some selections at Carnegie- 
Mellon University's Interface Conference 
in Pittsburgh in April 2002. According to 
Roy, "We would like to develop this as an 
annual event to provide a continuing 
forum for contemplation of new art forms 
as they are emerging." Stay tuned on all 
fronts.... 

For more info, see www.flahertyseminar.org. 

Kathy Brew is an independent videomaker, 

curator, writer, and educator, and the jormer 

Director of Thundergidch ( 1 997-200 1 ) . 

U.S. PROTESTS RUNAWAY 
PRODUCTION 

BY Jason Guerrasio 

Canada has become the Mecca for 
filmmakers who don't have the budget to 
shoot a feature film in the middle of a busy 
city in America (i.e. New York or Boston), 
and for the past few years many films have 
taken their production to our neighbors in 
the north. But some in this country' aren't 



ILM 




FILM AND TELEVISION ACTION COMMITTEE 



too happy with what's been going on. 

Feeling that the "rank and file" workers 
have been robbed by movies traveling to 
Canada to shoot, The Film & Television 
Action Committee (FTAC) last 
December brought a petition forward to 
the U.S. Department of Commerce in 
hopes of bringing film jobs back to the 
United States. The petition asked to 
investigate 
Canada's 
film incen- 
tives to see 
if they con- 
stitute an 
unfair 
trade prac- 
tice. 

"We started FTAC about three to four 
years ago when it was around the time a 
lot of films were going north," says FTAC 
chairman Brent Swift, who is one of the 
close to 12,000 members in the film 
industry' who signed the petition. "I'm a 
production designer; since '77 I had all 
the work I wanted until about two years 
ago when it just disappeared because it all 
went up north, and it's growing every 
year." 

The petition was made up in the hopes 
that the Department ot Commerce would 
consider putting tariffs on U.S. film and 
television productions that shoot in 
Canada and then re-enter the U.S. mar- 
ket. This would inevitably ruin studios in 
Canada that provide U.S. films with stu- 
dio lots and services. Canada's largest stu- 
dio, Toronto Film Studios, feels that what 
the FTAC is doing is unfair 

"We're expected to buy the product but 
we're not allowed to contribute to making 
it," says Toronto Film Studios president 
Ken Ferguson, who teels that the amount 
of money the United States, believes 
Canada is taking away from them is exag- 
gerated. "This past year Canada took $1 
billion out of the U.S. market. These 
groups that are going before Congress are 
throwing out figures oi $10 billion and 
$15 billion and Canada's not doing any- 
where near that." 

Swift replied that $10 billion is adjust- 
ed from $2.9 billion in "real dollars" to 
factor in the blue -collar workers behind 
the scenes. 

Jason Guerrasio is an intern, at 
The Independent and Premiere magazine. 



10 THE INDEPENDENT March 2002 




DOCS BRANCH OUT 

As THIS ISSUE GOES TO press, 

the Academy of Motion 

Picture Arts and Sciences 

is locking nominations for 

Academy Awards for Distinguished 

Achievement in 2001, and by the time you 

read this the Documentary Branch will 

have announced three to five nominees for 

Best Documentary Short and Feature — and 

perhaps the Academy has already conferred 

that little golden guy on the winning films. 

Last January the Academy took the his- 
toric action of granting "branch" status to its 
documentary members. The move fol- 
lowed years of controversy that came to a 
head in 1995 when Kartemquin Film's 
commercially successful and critically 
acclaimed Hoop Dreams was not nominat- 
ed for a Documentary Feature Oscar. 
(Neither, for that matter, was another 
excellent film of 1994, Terry Zwigoff's 
Crumb.) That year the nominations were 
selected by a 47-member documentary 
committee and voted upon by the full 
body of Academy members. 

The newly established branch provides 
a home and a voice for the roughly 150 
documentary filmmakers who were previ- 
ously members-at-iarge, as well as mem- 
bers of other branches who elected to 
transfer their affiliation. In August the 
new branch elected filmmaker and former 
documentary committee chair Freida Lee 
Mock as governor, with a seat on the 
Academy's board of governors. 

This year eligible documentaries were 
screened for committees made up of only 
members of the Documentary Branch. The 
committees followed an averaged point 
system to vote in the nominees. Only those 
members of the Academy who have seen all 
nominated docs in a theatrical setting will 
be eligible to participate in final voting. 

Self-rule should make for a smoother 
process and more representative deci- 
sions. But documentary is still a bit of a 
poor relation: the 13 other branches each 
have three members seated on the board 
of governors, while documentary has just 
one. As this is the body that in 1999 voted 
to eliminate the Short Documentary 
Award — only restoring the category after 
substantial pressure from advocacy groups 
including AIVF and the IDA — a strong 
voice for the branch is certainly needed. 
Elizabeth Peters is publisher o/The Independent. 





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March 2002 THE INDEPENDENT 11 



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July U-20 & September 15-21 

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lune 9-15, luly 21-27 & Sepletnber 15-21 

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June 2-8 & September 8-14 

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July 14-20 

Screen Writers 4-week Summer Retreat 

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July 14 - August 1 7 

Screen Writers Master Class 

With Michael Schifler 
August 11-17 

The Film Directors Craft 

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June23-29& August 4-10 

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luly 14-20 & October b-12 

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Cinema Resurrection 

After more than 50 years of neglect and 
decay, the Sunshine Cinema in New 
York's Lower East Side is back in business. 
Landmark Theatres, the country's largest 
art house cinema chain, recently complet- 
ed a three -year, $12 million renovation of 
the 19th century building, which by turns 
has been a church, an immigrant meeting 
hall, a boxing venue, a nickelodeon, a 
Yiddish vaudeville theater, and a hard- 
ware warehouse. The five new state-of- 
the-art screens are dedicated to diverse 
first-run independent and foreign films, 
and should prove a boon to cinephiles 
looking for movies that are beyond the 
mainstream fare offered in most theaters. 
Since the Sunshine's opening in 
December 2001 business has been brisk, 
according to Keith Cowling, the theater's 
house manager. "People are glad to see 
[the theater] being used again," he says. 
Opening features included Czech film- 
maker Jan Sverak's Dark Blue and Iranian 
director Mohsen Makmalbaf's Kandahar. 



And with amenities such as stadium seat- 
ing, Dolby EX sound, gourmet refresh- 
ments, two Japanese rock gardens, and a 
walkway with panoramic neighborhood 
views, it certainly is the plushest cinema 
in New York, if not the nation. 

— Cleo Cacoulidis 




Ask the Expert 



Looking for advice on 
character development in 
your script? Now you'll be 
able to "ask the expert" 
while you're writing. Final 
Draft's latest upgrade. Final Draft 6.0 
(www.finaldraft.com), introduces many 
new features, including a component that 
allows writers to key into a series of exer- 
cises developed by scriptwriting guru, Syd 
Field. The new software is designed for 
Windows XP and Carbonized, and is com- 
patible with Mac OS X. Most important. 
Final Draft 6.0 is integrated with the 
Writers Guild of America West's online 
script registration. 



Film IVIusic Resource 

Film Music Media Group and Digital 
Economics have joined forces to create a 
new web portal, www.performingrights.com, 
an online information clearinghouse for 
U.S. and international performing rights. 
The portal is designed to give songwriters, 
composers, and publishers the latest data 
on the rules and procedures that govern 
ASCAP BMI, and SESAC membership 
and affiliation agreements, among others. 
Details about royalties will also be avail- 
able. The portal launches in March 2002. 



ERRATA 



In the December 2001 issue, Rory 
O'Connor was incorrectly identified on 
p. 7, in the article "Eye on the Rest of the 
World," as the founder of Globalvision. 
He is the cofounder, along with his part- 
ner Danny Schechter. Additionally, news 
sources can be found on Globalvision's 
web site, www.gvnews.net. 

Also in December, on p. 9, in the arti- 
cle "From Cooking Lessons to Saving the 
NEA at Eidia House," The NEA Tapes 
was incorrectly identified as a two -hour 
documentary; it is one -hour long. 

In the January /February 2002 issue, 
p. 25, in the profile on Zacharias Kunuk, 
the film Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner was 
shot on digital betacam and transferred to 
film; not shot on 16mm as implied. 

On p. 29, in the article "The Prize 
Patrol," Mark Ebner misquoted himself It 
was not Daniel J. Harris who was disqual- 
ified, but the director of the film The 
Delicate Art of the Rifle. 

In the special digital section, conflict- 
ing statements about Fire Wire drives were 
made by Greg Gilpatrick (p. 7, "A Dream 
DIY System") and Bart Weiss (p. 9, "Ask 
the Final Cut Pro"). Both are true. 
Apple's official policy is that "FireWire 
drives. ..are not currently recommended 
for video capture or playback with Final 
Cut Pro." In practice, those who want to 
spend the least amount of money will find 
that FireWire HDs will meet the minimum 
requirements for DV video editing. 
(Gilpatrick recommends Ultra2 or Ultra3 
SCSI hard drives for those with the budget.) 



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Alloy Orchestra Sounds Off 



When Boston film programmer David 
Kleiler booked Metropolis in 1991, he 
couldn't bear the thought of screening 
Fritz Lang's silent classic with its 1984 
score, a much-maligned concoction of 
rock tunes by Adam Ant, Pat Benatar, 
and the like. So he contacted a group of 
percussionists he'd seen at Boston's First 
Night and asked them to come up with 
something to perform live using their idio- 
syncratic hodgepodge of instruments — 
everything from traditional snare drums 
and xylophones to kazoos, bedpans, 
horseshoes, and junkyard debris. 

The Metropolis score was an instant 
success, and Alloy Orchestra was official- 
ly bom. At that time, only one other group 
was composing music for silent films. But 
in the years since, a lively cottage industry 
has sprung up. "In New York alone, there 
must be over a hundred musicians re- 
scoring silent films," says Ken Winokur, 
who with Terry Donahue and Roger 
Miller make up Alloy Orchestra. What's 
more, when the Boston-based ensemble 
recently appeared at Walter Reade 
Theater in New York, they encountered a 
novel but telltale situation: competition 
from another silent film the same day. 

Without doubt, silent films have under- 
gone a revival, due in part to Alloy's per- 
formances. Normally, say Winokur, "to get 
50 people to a silent show is very difficult. 
But if you add on a group that has a repu- 



BY Patricia Thomson 

ration of its own, you can get thousands." 
This revival also owes to the rise of home 
video and DVD — avenues Alloy has been 
quick to exploit. To date, their best- 
selling work has been Nosferatu. 
Successfully piggybacking on interest gen- 
erated by Elias Merhige's SJiadow of the 
Vampire two years ago, sales of the 1928 
ghoulish classic tallied an impressive 
12,000 units. 

Alloy has also inserted more obscure 
titles into their repertoire, thanks to close 
ties with silent film experts at the 
Pordenone festival in Italy, Telluride, and 
the George Eastman House. These 
experts suggested Lonesome, for instance, 
by Hungarian director Paul Fejos, whom 
Charlie Chaplin once championed in 
Lillian Gish's little -known but much 
admired The Wind. 

On occasion the orchestra works with 
living filmmakers, scoring fellow 
Bostonian Errol Morris's Fast, Cheap, and 
Out of Control and Dragonflies, and the 
Baby Cries, a short by Jane Gillooly, who is 
married to Winokur. They're open to 
future collaborations, though "we need 
the proper film," notes Winokur, some- 
thing that marries well with clanging 
metal and energetic drumming. "We're 
ready for Terminator IV, or the equivalent 
of Vertov in the 21st century." 

Patricia Thomson is a 
contributing editor to The Independent. 



BOSTON 



CID Shares 20th anniversary 
with Women in Film 

BY Richard Baimbridge 

The home of husband/wife documentary 
team Fred Simon and Suzie Walsch sits 
just off the highway in the rural outskirts 
of Boston. Aside from the fact that they 
live next to a movie theater, it seems to 
have little connection to the film world. 
In fact, the Center for Independent 
Documentary (CID) consists of little 
more than a home office and a small tele- 
vision in the kitchen, where Walsch 
watches video tapes sent to her by people 
from all over the country. But Walsh and 
Simon have kept CID going strong for 20 
years, managing over 200 documentaries 
with budgets ranging from $75 up to $1.5 
million. 

In 1981, the couple made a documen- 
tary called Frank, a Vietnam Veteran. It was 
the first film ever to address the issue of 
post- traumatic stress disorder in Vietnam 
vets. With the help of the American Red 
Cross, Simon and Walsch established a 
network of phone banks manned by vet- 
erans in every city where the film was 
broadcast. In one night, they received 
over 12,000 calls. 

"Fred and I knew that a lot of other 
filmmakers out there had powerful things 
to say, and that they needed help," 
Walsch says of the decision to establish 
CID after their success with Frank. 

Some of CID's well-known success sto- 
ries include Judith Helfand's A Healthy 
Baby Girl and Blue Vinyl, as well as Deann 
Borshay's First Person Plural. One of the 
organization's main services is managing 
film budgets, allowing filmmakers to focus 
more on their work, but Walsch also looks 
at rough cuts and grant proposals, and 
even assists in finding outlets and distrib- 
ution. "I received 50 tapes in the past two 
months," Walsch says. "That's without 
advertising — all word of mouth. My only 
regret is that I have to turn so many pro- 
jects away because we don't have the staff 
or resources to keep up." 

March 2002 THE INDEPENDENT 15 



...In the movie-crazed town of Stony Brook on the campus of the State University of New 
York, they're taking a revolutionary tack; something for everybody. Studio Blockbusters. 
Independents. Short films. 

It's visionary. 

It's groundbreaking. 

It's cutting-edge. 

(3 




■ John Anderson. Newsday 




7th Annual 

Stony Brook Film Festival 

JULY 17-27 2002 

Staller Center for the Arts 

Stony Brook University, Long Island, NY 




2002 

STONY BROOK 

FILM FESTIVAL 

JULY 17-27 

K I \ 



Competitions in Ibrnm and 35mm films 

including features, shorts, documentaries 

and animation. Largest venue (1,000+ 

seats) and film screen in the region (40 

ft. W\6e)\ Over 13,000 attendees at the 

2001 festival! 

For more information, 

call 631-632-7234 

or email 

filmfestival@stonybrookfilmfestival.com 

or write to: 

Stony Brook Film Festival 

Staller Center for the Arts 

Rm 2032, Stony Brook University 

Stony Brook, NY 1 1794-5425 

Entry Deadline: April 15, 2002 




2000 Stony Brook Film Festival Filmmi 

L to r: Village Voice Critic. Michoel Atkinson, Newsday Chief Filrr 

Critic. Jotin Anderson. Lion's Gate 'Steal This Movie~ directci 

Robert Greenwald: Festival Director Alan Inides 





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Rod Steiger receives Lifetime Achievement Aword and i: 

surrounded by the cost of " The Headhunter s Sister 



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It's no small coincidence that another 
Boston organization — Women in Film — 
also celebrates its 20th anniversary this 
year. In fact, there's quite a bit of overlap 
between the two groups. For exam.ple, 
Lucia Small, former president of Women 
in Film, recently completed the documen- 
tary M)! Father the Genius, which was 
sponsored by CID, as was Beth 
Harrington's (also a former president of 
Women in Film) doc, Welcome to the Club. 

To commemorate its anniversary. 
Women in Film organized a festival of 
works by New England women directors 
in a program called "Rewind/Fast Forward" 
that spanned more than 25 years. One of 
oldest films was Nancy Porter's ground- 
breaking 1975 doc, A Woman's Place is in 
the House — a portrait of lesbian activist 
Elaine Noble, the first openly gay person 
elected to the Massachusetts State 
Legislature. The festival was held at sev- 
eral venues, including Boston University 
and the Boston Museum of Fine Art, and 
was hosted by activist and actress/director 
Sarah PoUey, who showed her own short 
film I Shout Love. 

"I think a great way to see this festival is 
that it's a celebration of the rich history of 
Boston women's cinema, while also bring- 
ing it into the present," says Amy Geller, 
current president of Women in Film. Geller 
says she envisioned the festival as a way to 
connect the older and younger genera- 
tions of Women in Film, bringing some 
older members back into the fold. "And 
firom a personal perspective," 27-year-old 
Geller says, "it was also a way for me to 
educate myself about the organization." 

Boston: Studio City? 

For the third consecutive year, the 
Boston film community will open its doors 
to visitors next month. Originally con- 
ceived as part of the 25th anniversary cel- 
ebration of the New England Film and 
Video Festival, Boston's "Open Studios" 
program drew over 1,000 visitors in its 
first year and involved 21 organizations. 
This year, the number of venues has risen 
to over 50, including Boston University, 
Roxbury's Film Shack, and the Boston 
Film and Video Foundation, and organizers 
say they anticipate several thousand guests. 
"As far as I know, this is the only pro- 
gram of its kind in the country," says 
Bonnie Waltch, executive director of the 



"There are a large number of 
documentaries made in Boston," 

notes Michelle Meek, founder of Boston-based 
NewEnglandFilm.com and Buylndies.com. "But the 
people working in feature film are doing what they love 
in the place that they love." Meek says that the area's 
strong reputation for docs comes from its academic 
presence, plus the fact that a third of PBS documen- 
tary programming is produced by Boston PBS affiliate 
WGBH. But recently. Meek says, films like Brad 
Anderson's Next Stop Wonderland, and people like 
David Mamet and the Farrelly brothers who have 
made a conscious decision to stay in Boston, are 
challenging the Beantown stereotype. If you're inter- 
ested in doing the same, here are some vital contacts: 

The Center for Independent Documentary 

(see story): www.documentaries.org 

Boston Film and Video Foundation (BF/VF): 

Resource center for Boston film and video 
community, and founders of New England Film and 
Video Festival: www.bfvf.org 

NewEnglandFilm.com: online resource for film and 
video in New England 

Buylndies.com: a platform for indie filmmakers to 
sell their work on VHS or DVD; film buyers purchase 
the films through the site. 

Boston Filmmakers' Collaborative: association of 
Boston-based independent documentary filmmakers. 
For more information on Boston's Open Studios: 

www.filmmakerscollab.org/openstudios.htm 

Local Sightings: screening series dedicated to local 
works, with a serious eye on getting distribution. 
Established by Boston producer David Kleiler: 
www.localsightings.com 



Filmmakers Collaborative, which now 
oversees the event. "It allows the public to 
see the film and video inner-workings in 
Boston, and brings the [film] community 
together." 

Open Studios has expanded this year to 
a two-day event held April 27-28, with 
the first half dedicated to Boston, 
Cambridge, and Somerville, and the sec- 
ond half focussed on Newton, Waltham, 
and Watertown. The program includes 
panel discussions, film screenings, and 
provides an introduction to editing, 
sound, and other areas of production to 
anyone interested. Some of Boston's lead- 
ing filmmakers and studios are participat- 
ing in the event, including director 
Robert Patton-Spruill (Squeeze); Emmy 
award-winning sound mixer Richard 
Bock; Sundance 2001 participant 
Northern Light Productions; and 
renowned experimental filmmakers and 
animators from Moody Station Studios. 

Richard Baimbridge is a contributing editor 




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March 2002 THE INDEPENDENT 17 




"African Americans don't go to the 
beach. We're from the inner city, and 
we're tense." 

Prize-winning documentary filmmaker 
Stanley Nelson leans back and chuckles 
softly. Seated in his Harlem brownstone 
office, Nelson is anything but tense, even 




as he pauses from logging a flood of digital 
footage from three current television pro- 
jects. Nelson is discussing the most inti- 
mate of those pieces, A Place of Our Own, 
his look inside the affluent African 
American summer community on Martha's 
Vineyard that is one hundred years strong 
and claims Nelson as a life -long member. 

A filmmaker for over 20 years, Nelson 
is a creator of award-winning historical 
documentaries that use archival footage 
and on-camera experts to explore the 
African American experience. In 1999 
Nelson's The Black Press: Soldiers Without 
Swords was nominated for an Emmy and 
won both a Sundance award and a 
duPont-Columbia baton. In 2001, Marcus 
Garvey: Look for Me in the Whirlwind 
screened at Sundance and aired on PBS' 
American Experience. 

Now Nelson has changed his origina- 
tion format of choice by turning a Sony 
PD150 DVCam on himself A Place of 
Our Own is Nelson's first digital narrative 



and looks at Nelson, his family, and the 
black professionals who claim Martha's 
Vineyard each summer as a home away 
from home — and as a refuge from social 
and racial stereotyping. And as with Black 
Press and Garvey, Nelson offers a succinct 
rationale for his choice of subject matter. 
"I'm interested in the black middle class 
because that's who I am, that's who I know, 
and I don't think we see it in the media." 
Nelson is just as pointed about his audi- 
ence of choice. "I don't want to be telling 
white folks about black people. I try to cen- 
ter on Are we telling black people some- 
thing that they don't already know?' If the 
film tells black 
people something 
about themselves 
that they don't 
know, then it's 
definitely going to 
tell white people 
something that 
they don't know, 
m not opening a 
ittle window so 
we can all peek in 
at specimens 
under glass." 

Nelson's com- 
pany, Firelight 
Media, is 
headquar- 
tered in a 
handsome 
three-story 
brownstone 
in Harlem's 
historic 
Sugar Hill neighborhood. Two associate 
producers and an editor have been set up in 
three editing suites with Final Cut Pro sys- 
tems. Downstairs an assistant, Nelson and 
Marcia Smith, Firelight's execurive director 
and Nelson's wife, share a cluttered office. 
A tew blocks south is the Cir\' Uni\'ersit\' of 
New York's Davis Film School, where 
Nelson graduated in 1976. 

It is no coincidence that Nelson has a 
presence in a neighborhood that was once, 
and is now again, a center of African 
American professional success, as his films 
focus on overlooked examples of black 
achievement. Smith sees the Vineyard pro- 
ject in the same light as Nelson's historical 
reclamation of Garvey and the black press. 
"There is conflict in those films between 
a black identity and an American identity, 



and the Vineyard is about the struggle for 
identity within the black middle class. Up 
there everyone knows you are a lawyer not 
because they know you, but because they 
assume you are." 

But Nelson is aware of the class and 
race contradictions. "People told me that 
they come to Martha's Vineyard because 
they can be themselves. The question 
that that raises is who are you the rest of 
the year? We're looking at why African 
American doctors and lawyers feel that 
need — what does it say about them and 
what does it say about America?" 

"I've spent every summer of my life on 
Martha's Vineyard. There are some warts 
in the film, but it's a loving look at the 
African American community, one that 
you don't see on television." 

The project is being produced through 
ITVS' short-lived 2001 "DV Initiative," a 
pilot program that provided up to 
$125,000 for one-hour digital work. 
[Funding through this initiative is no 
longer available.] Funded last spring. 
Nelson spent the summer of 2001 on the 
Vineyard interviewing neighbors, himself, 
and boldface regulars, such as Lani 
Guinier and Henr>' Louis Gates, Jr. 

Nelson has two other digital projects 
under way. WNET-Channel 13 commis- 
sioned a look at New York City's 2001 city 
council elections, and Firelight followed 
three candidates through the autumn 
campaigns. And the Ford Foundation has 
funded a human rights project in which 
activists came to New York and were 
trained on and given DVCams by 
Firelight to record their struggles at home. 
The activists and Nelson also attended 
the UN World Conference against Racism 
in Durban, South Africa, and Nelson is 
hoping PBS will eventually air the work. 

Nelson's past projects have featured the 
expensive archival footage, formal story 
structure, and larger budgets of public 
television projects shot on film. Now he is 
excited about the possibilities of more per- 
sonal, more immediate, stor>-telling with 
fewer financial strings attached. 

"We've bought three cameras and an 
editing system. Now it doesn't matter who 
the president is; it doesn't matter what 
happens at CPB; it doesn't matter who's 
the head of the NEH. You can get up 
there and tell a stor>'." 

Scott Meserve is a freelance uiriter and 
filmmaker based in New York. 



18 THE INDEPENDENT March 2002 



It's taken Chuck Workman a quarter 
century to make his second serious dra- 
matic feature. The first was The Money, 
produced in 1976 when the then 32-year- 
old Workman was making low- end televi- 
sion commercials in New York City. The 
second is this spring's A House on a Hill, 
the story of an aged architect returning to 
an unfinished, personal project. In 
between Feature #1 and Feature #2, 
Workman moved to California, cut 
numerous trailers (the original Star Wars, 
for example), officially and unofficially 
edited or re -shot a slew of Hollywood 
movies, wrote a script that would become 
Meatballs 3, and unsuccessfully entered 
the running to direct Revenge of the Nerds 
3. In his spare time he directed well- 
received art house documentaries on 
Andy Warhol, Superstar, and the Beat 
generation. The Source. The conflict 
between these two incongruous drives — 
to appeal to the festival circuit or to direct 
schlock, what he calls his "z-level" 
work — nearly caused him to abandon the 
movie business altogether. 

"I think that that's why in my 50s I'm 
only just making what I feel is my second 
dramatic feature that is worth anything," 
he says. "Because I tried to work in the 
commercial world. I led a wonderful life. I 
won awards in Hollywood. I made money. 
Not a lot, but I made some. I was able to 
raise my family and all those wonderful 
things that people aspire to and yet I feel 
that my artistic life suffered somewhat 
from — at least in quantity — from pursu- 
ing both things." 

Workman is probably best known in 
Hollywood as the man who compiles and 
edits those soaring montages of great cin- 
ematic moments that open most Oscar 
broadcasts. In 1986 he won his own 
Academy Award for a montage of 
American films entitled Precious Images. 
He completed the September 11th- 
inspired The Spirit of America in 
December, a montage of clips from 
American films. 

But Workman's most personal project 
lately has been A House on a Hill, a movie 
that may be set upon a Beverly hill but is 
decidedly un-HoUywood and will proba- 
bly only play to the art house and festival 
crowds. "I tell people in Hollywood, 'It's a 
movie you'll never see,'" Workman says. 

Workman likes to think of himself as 
one of Hollywood's offbeat outsider/ 



insiders, "A guy that does this kind of off- 
beat stuff, that goes to festivals and is avail- 
able to do things for [Hollywood] within 
their context but also does his own thing." 

Born in 1944, he grew up in Atlantic 
City, intent on being a writer "It's not 
easy, especially if you grow up in a Jewish 
middle class world. I think my parents 
didn't really know what I did until I won 
an Oscar. Even until I was thirty they 
were suggesting I go to law school." 

After college he joined the Air Force 
reserve, where he learned to use a still 
camera, taking pictures of generals and 
colonels. His thoughts began to drift 
toward filmmaking. He came to New York 
City and started making cheap commer- 
cials for books and toys and "two records 



* 



Chuck Worl^an | 

A Hou^e Q>n tpie Hill 

By Stephen totilo I 



for $5.99," as many as 50 a year "The idea 
of going to Hollywood to make films was 
totally foreign to me," he says. "I was 
interested in making short films like 
Goddard or Truffaut might." He quickly 
realized he could use the commercials as 
training ground. "Maybe I'll do it all in 
dolly shots. Or I'll do it all with a 25mm 
lens. Or I'll do it all lit a certain way or I'll 
do it all silent. My clients didn't care as 
long as they were selling their products." 
A client financed Workman's first fea- 
ture, The Money. The next logical move 
was to Hollywood, where he built a repu- 
tation as an editor, and started getting 
called in to re -shoot the endings of studio 
films. Gradually art gave way to com- 
merce. "I wasn't ready yet to breakaway 
and become an artist," he says. "To me 
one got a job and tried to learn the craft 
that way." But during the Meatballs/ 



Revenge of the Nerds phase of his career. 
Workman realized he had gone astray. 

He says his epiphany came a year 
before he won the Oscar. He had started 
dabbling with montages and making them 
as shorts. One of them won a Golden 
Eagle, an award he says is small but great- 
ly affected his drive. "I suddenly realized, 
hey: you can make movies and win an 
award, and you don't have to sell any- 
thing," he says. "That's when I kind of 
devoted myself to definitely pushing 
myself toward those kind of projects that 
would have another life." 

For some time the idea for A House on 
a Hill had been forming in Workman's 
mind. "I wanted to make a film about an 
older artist who had been overlooked," he 

says. He 

insists the 
film is not 
autobio- 
graphical, 
but the par- 
allel is clear: 
he too has 
managed to 
return, if not 
to an unfin- 
ished work 
then to an 
unfinished 
learning 
process. 
Determined 
to discover 
his inner 
auteur and in an echo of what he was 
doing with cheap commercials in New 
York, he's been finding himself sneaking 
some experimental filmmaking into his 
Oscar montages. In fact, he first tried the 
continuous re -sizing of the frame that 
appears in A House on a Hill in the 2000 
Academy Awards broadcast. 

Unlike the film's protagonist, Workman 
has not lost a child or had his house burn 
down. But he concedes that at least one 
detail connects with his own life story. "It 
was an older artist who always could do 
something but didn't really care that 
much about it. This theme may have been 
Hollywood talking to me or my response 
to Hollywood." 

Stephen Totilo is a freelance journalist 

whose work has appeared in Newsweek, 

Brill's Content, Inside.com, and 

Boxing Digest, among others. 




March 2002 THE INDEPENDENT 19 



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20 THE INDEPENDENT March 2002 



C^^H^^H^ 



A Lasting Impression 



Plan for your work's retirement. 



You've come this far. You got together 
the money to make your dream film or 
video. You sent it off to festivals and 
received good responses. Maybe it's going 
to be aired on PBS or you managed to find 
a distributor. Fantastic. 

Now, before you move on to your next 
project have you thought about where 
and how your film or video is going to live 
over the long term? You've made it, you've 
nurtured it, but where do you store it? 

And how do you store it? What about 
the workprint? The trims, the outs? Do 
you keep them? 

What about all the edit versions you 
did and have on various tapes? Your pro- 
duction notes? Your scrapbooks? That's a 
lot of stuff piling up, am I right? Where is 
it right now? In the basement? An attic? 
A closet? Your parents' garage? 

As a moving image archivist it's my job 
to think about all these possibilities. So 
hear me out, for the sake of your work of 
art; I'd like you to think about the preser- 
vation of your moving images. 

I have had the great pleasure of asking 
two independent filmmakers — Idrissa 
Ouedraogo and Spike Lee — about the 
long-term storage of their works. And, 
being the geek that I am, I asked them in 
lecture halls where other people asked 
about their filmmaking. Both were able to 
tell me immediately where they keep their 
material. They were also surprised that 
someone asked them, because storage and 
preservation is not a topic that usually 
pops up in a filmmakers' forum. 

My professional advice to you is to con- 
sider carefully the long-term storage of 
your moving images, whatever format 
they happen to be in. And I mean both 
the where (physical location) and the how 
(in what container, what temperature and 
humidity, and what format) of storage. 

Storage is the most important thing you 
can do. If you can't keep your material 
cool and dry, at minimum, keep it at the 
same environment you live in. Fifty 
degrees Fahrenheit and 50% relative 
humidity is a starting point. After that. 



BY RUTA AbOLINS 




keeping temperature and humidity as 
constant as possible is the next best thing 
you can do, because film and tape don't 
like fluctuating environments. Mold is 
only one of many problems that can strike 
your materials if the storage conditions 
are poor. 

Examine your films and tapes periodi- 
cally. How do they look physically? Are 
your tapes wound tight with an even 
pack? Are your films stored flat on a 2" 
core (in an archival plastic can) or on 
edge on a reel? Are your videotapes stored 
on edge in a case, not flat? Try to keep 
your storage environment relatively dust 
free. 

Consider donating your films to an 
archive with moving image collections. 
They may or may not be interested but 
you should check anyway. Most archives 
are more than happy to work out a donor 
agreement that is reasonable for both par- 
ties. And archivists like having the paper 
material associated with your production 
as well, since it helps tell the story behind 
your story. 

Archives also make your material avail- 
able to in-house researchers, so if you 
donate to a university with a film school, 
other future independents can study your 
films. And another plug for archives, as 
far as I know, we all store donated mater- 
ial for free (at least I do) . All we ask is that 
researchers be able to view it (or a copy of 
it). Such a deal! If you don't want to 
donate your materials now, consider set- 
ting up a future donation. 

Now if you think digital "storage" is the 
answer, think again. All the big guns, 
meaning the major Hollywood studios. 



don't believe in storing everything in digi- 
tal, at least not yet. Check out the 
November 2001 issue of American 
Cinematographer and the section on 
preservation where you can find out what 
the big dogs do for preservation and 
restoration. And let me set you straight 
on the terminology: "preservation" means 
keeping the object in as good a condition 
as possible over the long term; "restora- 
tion" means the object has been physical- 
ly damaged (by dye fading, breakage, 
unauthorized cuts, etc.) and something 
needs to be repaired for it to look the way 
it was when originally released or created. 
Logic and experience dictate that preser- 
vation is much cheaper than restoration. 

Archivists are paid to be conservative 
in terms of what we do with collections. 
So putting everything on a DVD and 
throwing out the original is NOT THE 
WAY TO GO! 

For quick and easy access, DVD is fine, 
but keep your films in analog format for 
now. One of the reasons is that there is a 



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March 2002 THE INDEPENDENT 21 



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dramatic loss of information with digital 
image compression. You can't bring back 
what isn't there or what didn't get trans- 
ferred. You know what that one scratch 
does to your music CD — imagine what it 
would do to your film. The big studios are 
still shooting on film for a reason: the 
images are richer and the long-term 
preservation needs of film are understood. 
The big boys have money on the line — 
they won't mess with an asset's future 
potential. Neither should you. 

Think for a moment about the footage 
from September 11th. Have you thought 
about the preservation of that footage? 
Where is it right now? I have. Because it 
is an important historical artifact. 

Do you know what archivists call films 
and videos which have no caretaker? 
They call them "orphans," because there 
are no resources, no "big money" tied to 
them for preser\'ation or restoration. I'm 
sure you don't want your films to end up 
as orphans. 

So what chance does an independent 
have to save his or her film and video? 
Personal action. Just like getting your pro- 
ject completed and seen, you must think 
about the long-term preservation of your 
material, and you need to think about it 
immediately. Document where you keep 
all the elements. Think about donating 
your films to an archive. Look into profes- 
sional storage companies which, for a 
price, will keep your film and video at 
appropriate temperature and relative 
humidity' levels. 

At the ver^' least, check with a profes- 
sional moving image archivist before mak- 
ing any rash decision about your collec- 
tion and where to keep it. You worked 
\ers- hard on it... why not tr\' to make it 
last? 

Riaa Abolins is a former filmmaker and 

currently the director of the Walter ]. Brown 

Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection 

at the University of Georgia. She has been a 

moving image archivist for the past 10 years. 



Share your opinions! 

Join the community at 

www.aivf.org/discussion. 

To pitch an editorial, 
write editor@aivf.org 



22 THE INDEPENDENT March 2002 




The Garden in the Machine: A Field 

Guide to Independent Films About Place 

By Scott MacDonald 

©2001 University of California Press 

www.ucpress.edu 

Written by Scott MacDonald, one of the 
American independent cinema's most 
devoted and prolific scholars, The Garden 
in the Machine: A Field Guide to 
Independent Films about Place explores the 
evocation of "place" in American inde- 
pendent and avant-garde cinema. While 
MacDonald is perhaps best known for his 
four-part book series of interviews with 
independent film- 
makers (A Critical 
Cinema) , here 
MacDonald 
focuses on the 
films themselves, 
and he does so 
with a passion 
and eye for detail 
generally reserved 
for filmmakers 
discussing their 
own films. What's 
more, MacDonald contextualizes his film 
analyses within the history of American 
literature, painting, and photography 
since the eighteenth century, making The 
Garden in the Machine a wide -reaching, 
original, and invaluable resource for any- 
one interested in independent cinema. 

MacDonald's discussion of the 
American independent cinema's love 
affair with pastoral landscapes, "place," 
and the organic in general builds on "The 
Machine in the Garden," Leo Marx's 
famous 1963 study of early American lit- 
erature. Marx examined how early 
American literature, like Henry David 
Thoreau's Walden (1854), merged an ide- 
alized view of American landscape with 
the machine age, thereby making "the 
machine in the garden" the predominant 
literary metaphor of the time. MacDonald 
considers this metaphor in relation to 




post-war to contemporary independent 
cinema, and finds that experimental film 
artists grapple with this same conjunction, 
only from the inside out: the garden per- 
ceived through the eye of the camera 
obscura. As Jonas Mekas says in his film 
Walden (1969), over shaky, handheld 
images of Central Park in the fall, "And 
now, the viewer, as you sit and watch. 
And as the life outside in the streets rush- 
es.... Just watch, nothing much happens. 
This is Walden." 

The Garden in the Machine argues that 
the metaphor driving much of what we 
consider to be independent American 
cinema is that of the garden in the 
machine, and to be sure, many of the 
great American independent filmmakers, 
like Kenneth Anger, Marie Menken, Stan 
Brakhage, and James Benning, to name 
just a few, do capture the transcendental 
qualities ascribed to nature for the viewer 
to meditate upon. As MacDonald argues, 
it's as if they're giving us a post-industrial 
view of Walden, where "there's no drama, 
no tragedy, no suspense," as Mekas put it, 
and none of the fake fanfare associated 
with big budget studio moviemaking. In 
other words, "This is Walden," not 
Hollywood. 

Considering how difficult it is to write 
about experimental cinema without 
destroying that something which makes it 
so powerful and real. The Garden in the 
Machine is a marvel of a book. Not only 
does it do justice to its subject, but more 
than that, it breathes new life into the 
films discussed, offering a fresh and 
insightful perspective on some of the most 
provocative American-made independent 
cinema. 

Belinda Baldwin is a freelance writer in Los 

Angeles. She is currently writing a book on 

American independent cinema. 

Breaking In: How 20 Film Directors 
Got Their Start 
By Nicholas Jarecki 
©2001 Broadway Books 
www.broadwaybooks.com 

Filmmakers love to talk about themselves. 
This is the notion which author Nicholas 
Jarecki capitalized on when writing 
Breaking In. Jarecki is completely forth- 
coming with his intentions: he is a recent 
NYU film school grad with his own 
dreams of becoming a filmmaker and he 



BREAKING IN 



wanted to find out how to break in. He 
went straight to the source by interview- 
ing 20 filmmakers who are making a living 
as directors and have been able, one way 
or another, to make that leap. 

With that, the concept behind Breaking 
In is an interesting one: find out how 
these directors got their start. But in this 
case, as it is with some films, the premise 
is sometimes much better than the final 
result. 

The upside is that Jarecki has chosen a 
great cross section of directors to inter- 
view. They range from horror and sci-fi 
master John Carpenter to recent Indie 
darlings Ben Younger {Boiler Room), 
Kimberly Peirce {Boys Don't Cry) and Neil 
LaBute {In the Company of Men) to 
Hollywood direc- 
tors like Brett 
Ratner {Rush 
Hour) and Peter 
Farrelly {Dumb & 
Dumber). 

The interviews 
are roughly made 
up of the same 
basic questions 
("When did you 
start getting into 
movies in a seri- 
ous way?" and 

"How were you supporting yourself when 
you were writing the script?") with each 
person adding their own unique anec- 
dotes and tales from back-in-the-day. 

There are also some interesting choices 
in terms of the directors interviewed, ones 
that aren't always given the spotlight or 
recognition, like Tamra Davis {Guncrazy) 
and James Foley {After Dark, M31 Sweet). 
Discovering how they got their start, 
where they went, and where they are now 
is quite engaging at times. 

Unfortunately, where Breaking In ulti- 
mately falters is in perpetuating the 
notion that by knowing these interesting 
histories the reader can somehow walk 
away with the key to unlock the door and 
"break in" on their own 

The point to remember is what 
Roger Ebert lays out in the foreword: film- 
making "is a career you have to make for 
yourself" 

Bo Mehrad is an Information Services 

Associate at AIVF and edits the AIVF 

festival listings. He's also a writer/ director 



March 2002 THE INDEPENDENT 23 




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Medium Cool, 110 min. 
Written, directed, and photographed 
by Haskell Wexler; 1969 
widescreen version DVD with 
commentary by Wexler, editorial 
consultant Paul Golding and actress 
Marianna Hill. 
Paramount Home Video 
http://homevideo.paramount.com 

Made 32 years ago, Haskell Wexler's 
Medium Cool is perhaps even more rele- 
vant today than it was at the time ot 
release. Brooding on issues such as vio- 
lence in the media, class differences, 
racial conflict, politics, and revolution, 
the film is highly political and arr\' at the 
same time, yet is surprisingly less chaotic 
than either its reputation might suggest or 
the times that forged it are rememhered as 
heing. An unusual film to find hacking 
and release by a major studio 
(Paramount), the film now enjoys well- 
timed DVD publication. 

Medium Cool focuses on John (Robert 
Forster), a news cameraman for a Chicago 
television station. A cynical, somewhat 
unpleasant person, John falls into a tenta- 
tive relationship with Eileen (Vema Bloom) , 
a former teacher who has just mo\'ed to 
the city from West Virginia with her son, the 
dirt-coated Harold (Harold Blankenship). 
Their unromantic romance is set against 
the backdrop of the political turmoil sur- 
rounding the Democratic part>''s national 
convention ot 1968, as John encounters 
numerous strata of Chicago society'. 

From its McLuhan-inspired title to its 
semi-documentary^ st^'le, from its Mothers 
of Invention soundtrack to its quasi-arbi- 
trary Godardian ending. Medium Cool is 
very much a movie of its time. Yet the fact 
that for all our computers and FAXes, 
society has not really changed that much 
is made obvious by the contemporary rel- 
evance of the film, which raises many 
questions but answers few. 

Students of films and filmmaking will 
particularly enjoy the disc's audio com- 




mentan' track by Haskell Wexler, editor 
Paul Golding (who gets Robert Forster's 
name wrong the first time he appears), 
and actress Marianna Hill. The trio had 
just come from a festival screening of the 
film and were primed to make interesting 
comment. Among other things, the view- 
er learns how much Wexler fully thought 
out the tilm: its large-scale parts were 
planned by Wexler to comment cin each 
other. Wexler's second ot eight films as a 
director. Medium Cool shows the admitted 
inspiration oi Jean-Luc Godard, but the 
cinematographer-turned-director was 
ostensibly making an adaptation of a book 
called The Coiicrete ]ungle, a scenario that 
was thrown out as Wexler was carried 
away by contemporary' events. 

Paramount Home Video has done a 
fine job with its disc oi Medium Cool. It 
doesn't have much in the way of supple- 
ments, but what's there (the commentary, 
the trailer) is helpful. A valuable addition, 
however, might ha\'e been Paul Cronin's 
hour long documentars-, Look Out Haskell, 
It's Real: The Making of Medium Cool, 
done for television in 2001. 

D. K. Holm is co-host of the television sJww 

Film at Eleven, aiyi contributes to the web sites 

DVDJoia-nal.com and Cinanonkey.com. 



24 THE INDEPENDENT March 2002 



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Two Giant Steps 

Sundance Documentary Film Program Expands 



BY Patricia Thomson 




A House of Docs Filmmaker to Filmmaker session. 



Once upon a time, the Sundance Film 
Festival was a place where nonfiction 
filmmakers could feel lost and ignored, 
like second-class citizens amidst glittering 
royalty. Those 
days are behind 
us now. With 
each passing year, 
the Sundance 
Institute has 

added more pro- 
grams and perks, 
more services and 
status to the doc- 
umentary flank of 
its festival, as well as to its overarching 
Documentary Film Program. Like a snow- 
ball gathering mass, it's now a sizable 
piece. 

First came House of Docs. The original 
idea, says Nicole Guillemet, festival co- 
director and director of the Documentary 
Film Program, was to have a cafe at the 
festival where documentarians could 
meet, talk, and learn. "Not just 'Here's my 
card,' but real dialogue that goes deeper," 
she says. The cushy leather couches, cap- 
puccinos, and constant swirl of people 
from the documentary world certainly 
encourage people to linger awhile. But it's 
the twice-daily panel discussions that 
deepen these conversations. Energizing 
and informative, the panels range from 
bread-and-butter issues to more abstract 
ethical quandaries. High-caliber panelists 
spill the beans — revealing dollar earnings, 
mistakes in the field, negotiation strate- 
gies, and all sorts of details that are often 
hush-hush but speak to core issues of doc- 
umentary filmmaking. 

For panel discussions, these are as good 
as they get. But to move beyond the scat- 
tershot approach that's intrinsic to panels, 
one must progress to a more intense, 
structured set-up. The institute began 
doing so in a quiet way two summers ago 
with a documentary producers workshop 
at Robert Redford's scenic mountain 
resort. Now they're ready to take this to 
the next stage, and this summer 
Guillemet expects to launch a 



Documentary Producers Lab. This is a sig- 
nificant step. The documentary lab will be 
comparable to the institute's labs for 
directors, screenwriters, producers, and 
composers, where 
fellows focus on 
works -in-progress 
during a very inten- 
sive week, teaming 
up with top profes- 
sionals in the field. 
Innumerable dra- 
matic filmmakers 
and writers have 
benefited from these 
labs, which in effect are America's post- 
graduate training ground. Both the cre- 
ative input and the fat rolodex that lab 
fellows gain have been an enormous boost 
for these individuals. Now documentary' 
producers can get the same benefits. 

Meanwhile, the Sundance Institute has 
gathered into its fold one of the field's 
most important sources of funding. 
During the festival, Redford officially 
announced that the Soros Documentary^ 
Fund and its director, Diane Weyermann, 
will move under the mantle ot the 
Sundance Institute, forming the new- 
Sundance International Documentary 
Fund. To this end, Soros's parent organi- 
zation, the New York-based Open Society' 
Institute, has provided a $4.6-minion 
grant, with the understanding that 
Sundance will need to begin raising addi- 
tional funds in 2003. Applicants may 
request funding for all stages of produc- 
tion, from seed money to production to 
outreach and subtitling. 

Even with this, the plate's not full. A 
second announcement during the festival 
heaped on yet another dish: a new all- 
documentary cable network. Details are 
still sketchy for what is currently being 
called the Sundance Documentary' Film 
Channel, hut word has it that it will 
launch later this year as a 24-hour chan- 
nel, separate but complementary to the 
Sundance Channel, which is now in 55 
million homes. "At the heart of the deci- 
sion," Redford explained,"is a belief that 



these films not only deserve a broader 
audience, but will attract a broader audi- 
ence if we put them out there." 

All this adds up to an impressive pack- 
age. Funding, professional networking, 
intensive creative workshops, festival 
exhibition, television cablecast — it's a 
soup-to-nuts buffet for documentary film- 
makers, and all of it carries the powerful 
Sundance imprimatur. 

Fortunately, Sundance is also acknowl- 
edging that there are other institutions out 
there that have worked long and hard for 
documentary filmmakers. Appropriately, 
it's now joining hands with them in simple 
but meaningful ways. "So many different 
organizations wanted to do something 
with House of Docs, and we wanted to do 
something with them," says Meredith 
Lavitt, senior manager of the Documentary' 
Film Program. 

This prompted them to host several 
Open Houses at House of Docs, which are 
informal receptions that feature peer orga- 
nizations. One packed reception was with 
AIVF (publisher of this magazine). Film 
Arts Foundation, and the International 
Documentary' Association, all bedrock 
organizations in the nonprofit media arts 
field. Another introduced a new player, 
the Center for Social Media at American 
University-, which scholar Pat Aufderheide 
is spearheading. Still another featured the 
White House Project, a DC-based organi- 
zation that's trying to elevate women into 
leadership positions, from the entertain- 
ment industry' to Pennsyh'ania Avenue. 

House ot Docs also invited AIVF to 
hold one of its popular workshops 
"Pitching to the Pros: The Verbal Art of 
Selling Your Project." This allowed five 
documentary- producers to make a five- 
minute pitch to a panel of television exec- 
utives, who then critique the pitch (not 
the project). The response was tremen- 
dous. "We were busting at the seams," 
says Lavitt. "It's absolutely got to become 
a mainstay." 

Now 20 years old, the Sundance 
Institute continues to evolve, like all 
healthy institutions should. But the rapid 
steps it has taken in the documentary- 
arena are its most dramatic move. "We 
wanted documentary- filmmakers to feel 
on equal footing with feature filmmakers," 
says Lavitt. They're clearly serious about 
that. All eyes are watching to see if they'll 
be successful, as well. 



26 THE INDEPENDENT March 2002 



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Sundance Standouts 

For those who missed the festival, there 
will be ample opportunity to catch many 
Sundance documentaries on television. 
That's because an unprecedented number 
of nonfiction films arrived at Park City 
with TV rights already sewn up. Out of 
the 16 competition entries, five had ties 
with HBO/Cinemax and another six with 
public television. Others will no doubt 
find their way onto public venues. Here 
are some standouts to watch for in the 
coming months: 

Amandla! 

The festival's most uplifting film and win- 
ner of an Audience Award, Amandla! A 
Revolution in Four-Part Harmony traces the 
history of Apartheid's rise and fall in 
South Africa as reflected through its 
music. And, oh, what music. Buoyant and 
inspirational, soulful and soaring, laced 
with anger or dignity, each song carries 
within it a whole world of emotion and 
social history. Director Lee Hirsch skillful- 




South African Youth in a scene f/om Amanda! 

ly teases out both threads in interviews 
with singers and activists, demonstrating 
the role music played during each phase 
of the prolonged struggle. During the nine 
years Hirsch worked on Amandla!, he 
recorded hundreds of hours of songs, 
many of which were on the verge of being 
lost. These recordings were donated to 
the South African national archives, cre- 
ating a vital oral history of the struggle 
against Apartheid. Americans will be able 
to catch the beat on Cinemax Reel Life. 

The Two Towns of Jasper 

Divisions between the races still run thick 
and deep in Jasper, Texas, where James 
Byrd was dragged to his death in 1998. 
While three defendants went on trial dur- 




James Byrd Jr.'s sister Clara Taylor outside the Jasper 
County Courthouse, in Two Towns of Jasper. 

ing the year that followed, filmmakers 
Marco Williams and Whitney Dow inter- 
viewed local townsfolk about the pro- 
ceedings and their views on race. What's 
key in this film is the unfiltered honesty 
that leaps from the mouths of interview- 
ees thanks in part to their sense of speak- 
ing to 'their own kind,' since Williams, 
who is black, and Dow, who is white, 
worked separately for the entire year with 
segregated crews. The result packs a pow- 
erful punch, which viewers can see on 
EO.V. 

Ralph Ellison & 
Bob Evans Biopix 

Two film biograhies stood out for com- 
pletely different reasons. Avon Kirkland's 
Ralph Ellison: An America Journey, made 
for American Masters, breaks no new 
ground stylistically, but is well worth a 
look for the complexity of its content. 
This incisive film delves much more 
deeply than the norm into the creative 
struggles and cultural battles that sur- 
rounded the author of Invisible Man. 

On the other end of the spectrum was 
Brett Morgen and Nanette Burstein's 
amusing biography of legendary 




Robert Evans stays in the picture. 

Hollywood producer Robert Evans. 
Taking as its starting point the now- cult 
audiotape Evans made of his eponymous 



autobiography, The Kid Stays in the Picture 
is unabashedly from Evans's point of view, 
making it more "Bob-umentary" than 
documentary, as Variety put it. Beyond 
Evans's alternately bombastic and self- 
deprecating narration, the film offers visu- 
al style galore. Using everyday software 
like Abobe Aftereffects, the filmmakers 
create wonders with the requisite archival 
photographs. Add to this the glossy, float- 
ing cinematography of ASC board mem- 
ber John Bailey inside Evans's beloved 
Hollywood mansion, and you've got a stun- 
ning and original look. The documentary 
hits theaters this spring via USAFilms. 

Personal docs persist 

Personal documentary is still alive and 
well when in the hands of Thomas Allen 
Harris. That's M}i Face (E minha cara) 
skips between three generations in his 
family as they search for personal and 
spiritual identity in Christian America 
(his grandmother), Tanzania (his sixties- 
era parents), and Brazil (the thirtysome- 
thing filmmaker). Shooting in Super 8, 
just like his father, Harris creates the fes- 
tival's other most stylish documentary, 
making wonderful use of freeze frames 
and inventive sound and picture editing. 




Filmmaker Judith Helfand brings her blue vinyl to Venice. 

In Blue Vinyl, Judith Helfand and 
Daniel Gold pick up where they left off in 
A Healthy Baby Girl: outside her parent's 
Long Island house as it gets new vinyl sid- 
ing. The filmmakers then trace the life 
cycle of this product and the damage its 
production and eventual incineration 
wreak on health and the environment. 
Told with Helfand's inimitable humor, this 
compelling HBO film will no doubt go 
long and far in turning the tide against 
toxic PVC. 

Patricia Thomson is a contributing editor and 
former editor in chief of The Independent. 



March 2002 THE INDEPENDENT 27 



r-..„.^ ■H^ii'J^^ii-* 



Report From Amsterdam 

The Last Word on Documentaries 

BY Henry Lewes 




\magez of war 
and reflection from 
tftis year's IDFA. 



Amsterdam is the most reassuring of 
cities. Nothing seems to change. From 
the Central Station the trams always run 
like clockwork over the seemingly endless 
canals, to stop outside the Bali cafe, the 
Festival's central meeting point. Yet once 
inside the cafe a wisp of anxiety hovered. 
As old acquaintances met, the question 
of how documentarians should respond to 
September 11th touched many an open- 
ing conversation. 

IDEA remains arguably Europe's pre- 
mier documentary event for many reasons. 
Firstly, for its imaginative choice of more 
than 200 films from 50 countries; second- 
ly for the Docs For Sale market, which 
offered prospective buyers 350 titles; and 
thirdly, for its brilliantly organized Forum, 
where 42 proposals were pitched in the 
hope of obtaining financing. Among spe- 
cial events were Master Classes, including 
one led by Frederick Wiseman; a 
Mediamatic Workshop concerned with 
the creation of non-linear stories; a Press 
Seminar provocatively entitled "Docs in 
the Dock," where film makers were con- 
fronted by press and TV critics. 

New this year was an imaginative 
installation with access to 10 monitors, 
and numerous online experiments. The 
future of digital technology also formed 
the subject of several debates. Every 



evening there were Happy 
Hours, allowing guests the 
opportunity to chat informally 
or, alternatively, attempt to but- 
tonhole buyers. Finally, at the weekend, 
for those with energy to spare, there was 
disco dancing until the small hours. 

Are documentarians prescient, or is it 
that they are simply more aware than 
most people as to what threatens the 
world? Whatever the reason, IDFA's 
director Ally Derks was able to observe 
that this year's entries noticeably reflected 
present day concerns and anxieties. 
"Films about religion, the Middle East 
conflict, terrorism, and wars predominate. 
As a consequence, the task of documen- 
tary filmmakers in this rapidly changing 
world, in which objective news coverage 
is sometimes indistinguishable from out- 
right propaganda, is becoming more 
important every day." Prominent among 
films which tackled these problems head 
on were Aftermath: The Remnants of War, 
A Crisis of Faith/The American Dilemma, 
First Kill, and War Photographer 

Aftermath (Daniel Sekulich, Canada), 
deals with the hazards remaining when 
the fighting is over. In France, sixty years 
after the First World War, teams are still 
daily involved in the dangerous business 
of digging up shells. In Bosnia the coun- 



tryside is strewn with land mines; in 
Vietnam children are still being born 
mutilated as a result of herbicides used to 
destroy trees and ground cover. 
Questioned afterwards Sekulich felt, "the 
world did not change much on September 
11th. It was dangerous before and it's 
dangerous now." Someone in the audi- 
ence thought that such a straightforward 
report would be unattractive to telecast- 
ers. It says much for the Canadian Film 
Board that it ever got made. 

A Crisis of Faith, (D.J. Kadagian, USA), 
searches for an answer to the question of 
what is wrong with American society. In 
50 minutes seven themes are broached, 
including progress, secularization, oppres- 
sion and commitment. The combination 
of talking heads and a collage of historical 
footage concludes, 
rather inevitably, that 
western man is pre- 
dominantly driven by 
fear and greed. In the 
screening I attended 
the film's relentless 
pace, and its unremit- 
ting solemnity, com- 
bined to induce a 
noticeable restless- 
ness in the audience. 

Coco Shrijber who made First Kill (The 
Netherlands) and Christian Frei who 
made War Photographer, (Switzerland), 
both revealed how deeply they were 
affected by their subjects. In First Kill 
Shrijber investigates what is the attrac- 
tion of legitimate killing. "Better than any 
drug," admits one former soldier. Shrijber 
was herself a conscript in Israel. "It was 
1982 and the Israelis invaded camps like 
Sabra and Shatilla. I was totally shocked 
to see [that] my side, the good side, com- 
mitted atrocities." 

Photographer Frei filmed from just 
behind photographer James Natchtwey 
for two years, in Kosovo, Indonesia and 
Palestine, sharing both his dangerous life 
and his views of war. Questioned by Nic 
Eraser of the BBC, who chaired talk ses- 
sions, Frei said, "For me the strength of 
photography lies in its abiUty to evoke 
humanit>'. So the photographer places 
himself in the middle of the war to com- 
municate what is happening, which is like 
trying to negotiate peace." 

If lighthearted films were few, Gosta 
AND Lennart (Babak Najafi, Sweden) was 




28 THE INDEPENDENT March 2002 



outstanding. In 8 brief minutes it recounts 
the rollicking relationship of a lonely mid- 
dle-aged gay man with his snuffling snor- 
ing pooch. Both touching and funny, its 
strength lies in its depiction of loneliness. 

The films are divided into several cate- 
gories, some like the Joris Ivens and the 
Silver Wolf being competitive with valu- 
able cash prizes. Reflecting Images exper- 
iments with new forms; First Appearance 
is for young or first time filmmakers; there 
was a choice of 10 titles by feminist British 
director Kim Longinotto; a group of 10 
films from China and Taiwan; and an 
extraordinary collection of silent 1890's 
pictures from Europe and the USA. 

Meanwhile Docs For Sale continued in 
the Marriott Hotel nearby. Unlike some 
markets there are no buyer stands, and 
American Cortian McManus, a first timer, 
was concerned that there was no orga- 
nized way to meet up with buyers, except 
for the 'Happy Hour.' Undeterred he 
planned to put a leaflet into every single 
buyer's pigeon hole, inviting them to view 
a two minute trailer of his film waiting 
ready on his computer. 

The other major event. The Forum, 
takes place in a former church, known, 
perhaps optimistically, as the Taradiso.' 
The applicants, usually the producer and 
director, sit at one end of a vast horse shoe 
table, with 30 to 40 commissioning editors 
spread around the remaining space. 
Fifteen minutes is allowed for each pro- 
posal, the first half for describing it and 
the second for questioning the candi- 
dates. It is a tense atmosphere and if you 
are thinking of making an application it is 
wise to attend the year before as an 
observer. The Forum organizers will glad- 
ly help you towards pitching your project 
with both skill and confidence. There is, 
however, one other element that you must 
provide for yourself: good luck! 

For further information please contact IDFA at: 
Kleine-Gartmanplantsoen 10 1017 AMSTERDAM. 
Tel. 31 20 627 3329; Fax 31 20 638 5388 
info@idfa.nl; www.idfa.nl 

Henry Lewes is a film journalist who reports on 

festivals for such publications as Fil West 

(Ireland), Africa Film & Television 

(Zimbabwe), International Documentary 

(USA), IF Magazine (Australia), Take One 

(Canada), and Film Waves (UK). 

Formerly he worked as a documnetary 

filmmaker for 35 years. 



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Ivy Film Fest 



BY Macauley Peterson 



When you think of the Ivy League, the 
first thing that comes to mind is probably 
not great cinema. Yet I was surprised to 
learn that among the eight Ivies, only two 
have neither a film major nor minor. 
Princeton is one. Brown the other (Penn 
has only a minor) . 

In the summer of 2001, a small group of 
students from Brown, ironically enough, 
decided that what the Ivy League really 
lacks is a film festival. Soon thereafter the 
Ivy Film Festival was born. 

The inaugural festival (November 
30-December 1) received 150 entries 
from liberal arts colleges throughout the 
United States. The festival was not limit- 
ed to the Ivies, and included work by stu- 
dents from NYU and UCLA, two of the 
top film programs in the country. 

The festival attracted several big name 
filmmakers who lent their expertise to the 
festival judging. Events included question 
and answer sessions with writer and direc- 
tor Oliver Stone and independent film- 
maker James Toback. Toback's new film 
Harvard Man made its American debut at 
the festival, and was the first featured 
event. 

Toback arrived late, limping slightly 
with an injured leg, and without the film 
print of Harvard Man in tow. Apparently, 
the print was destroyed by fire, in a case of 
arson, while in transit, and another print 
could not be secured in time. So the first 
American screening of Harvard Man was 
of an un-color-corrected VHS copy. 

Despite the technical difficulties. 
Harvard Man packed Brown's Carmichael 
auditorium, the smaller of the two venues. 
The screening was originally slated for the 
Rhode Island School of Design's auditori- 
um, and the last minute location change 
foreshadowed a weekend that showed just 
how hard it is to organize a film festival. 

The film is ostensibly about a star 
Harvard basketball player who gets caught 
up in a mob scheme to fix a key game. 
Adrian Grenier, a relative newcomer who 
looks strikingly like a young Pete Sampras, 
stars as the hot- shot point guard, along- 
side Sarah "Buffy" Michelle Geller, and 
Joey Lauren Adams {Chasing Amy) . 



But Harvard Man is really a platform for 
an extended LSD tripping sequence, that, 
as the festival audience learned, was 
based on Toback's own experience. After 
the screening he detailed the 8-day LSD 
trip from his more youthful days as a 
Harvard undergrad that he still describes 
as the "seminal emotional, psychological. 




The Hauser family's burdensome Grandmother is sur- 
prised to find a pistol lying on her bedroom floor, in Doug 
Imbruce's Killing Nana. 

intellectual experience" of his life. 

Hearing this biographical background 
made Harvard Man much more interest- 
ing in retrospect, but it also belies the ulti- 
mate problem that many in the audience 
had with the film: It is extremely self- 
indulgent. 

To students interested in filmmaking 
careers, Toback had a few words of wis- 
dom: "[With actors], go as far as you can 
go. Get as much as you can... You're get- 
ting gifts, take as many as you can get." 
Regarding production Toback added, 
"Use whoever you can use.... What do I 
need? Where can I go? What do I have to 
do? Be ruthless!" 

Day two of the I\'y Film Festival got off 
to a fier^f start with a Q&A by Oliver 
Stone. Despite being largely a press and 
Hollywood bashing session. Stone still 
had many interesting things to say about 
filmmaking. Stone originally became fas- 
cinated by writing as an escape from real- 
ity, and regards production students who 
are uninterested in screenwriting as 
"flawed." On the motives of a filmmaker. 
Stone surprised some by saying that 
"showing off is part of it," — that, and "get- 
ting through the veil of reality-." He finds 
Los Angeles' larger market to be more 



30 THE INDEPENDENT March 2002 



"democratic" [than New York and else- 
where], allowing the talent to more easily 
float to the top. 

On Hollywood itself, however, he had 
almost nothing good to say, calling it "the 
nature of the business to be a whore." 
"Eighty percent of the people in 
Hollywood are corruptible," Stone said. 
Like Toback, Stone makes movies largely 
for himself, insisting that he "never did a 
movie for money yet." 

The festival's 46 student "films" were 
actually a mix of film and video, reflecting 
the modern reality of student filmmaking. 
Video is less expensive, faster to shoot 
with and enables complex editing on a PC 
without the need for costly film-to-video 
transfers. 

Seeing real film presented alongside 
video, however, the weaknesses of video 
are readily apparent. Many students who 
have worked exclusively in video were 
awestruck by the difference in image 
quality. The festival entries varied in over- 
all quality, but there were several that 
stood out. 

Take Two is a clever ultra-short, done in 
black and white video in the vein of 
Chaplin's tramp by NYU senior Aaron 
Cohen. 

Harvana, by Harvard's Nick Louvel, is 
a French noir thriller about the Cuba- 
Harvard drug trade. The story was very 
tight, and was one of the most polished 
video shorts screened. 

One high quality film entry was Gym 
Short by Doug Schachtel of Princeton. 
Funny and beautifully shot on 16-millime- 
ter color film. Gym Short narrowly missed 
the prize for best comedy, but did garner 
an award from the director of the festival, 
David Peck. 

Killing Nana is an odd 8 minute come- 
dy by Columbia freshman Doug Imbruce, 
that was an audience favorite and sports a 
killer reversal along the way. 

The works of the festival's winners are 
slated to appear as streaming media, but 
the details have yet to be worked out at 
press time. See the festival's website 
(www.IvyFilmFestival.com) for more 
information. 

Macauley C. S. Peterson is a recent graduate of 

Princeton University, and a columnist for the 

Daily Princetonian. He can he reached at 

macauley @alumni.princeton. edu. 




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March 2002 THE INDEPENDENT 31 



our Director/Compo 



,.,,.3: «€^—-»"'"^ """"""" 



^■^55^- 



BY Richard Baimbridge 



"Music in American films these days has everything to do with 
marketing," says director Jimmy Bolton — not with the upbeat 
tone of an entertainment industry executive spouting off about 
profits, but rather with an air of disillusionment. "They try to 
stuff films full of hits. But I actually prefer films with little or no 
music." That might sound like an odd place to begin a discussion 
on the process of scoring films, yet music was very much at the 
heart of Bolton's debut feature, Eban and Charley. In fact, Bolton 
first considered making his controversial DV film about a sexual 
relationship between a 29-year-old man and a 15-year-old boy as 
a Dogma film, but couldn't go along with the no music rule. 
"I always knew the 'no music' thing would never work because I 
love music so much, and because the lead character is a guitarist 
and a songwriter," Bolton explains. His decision to cast Brent 
Fellows (who had no previous acting experience) as the lead was 
partly based on Fellows's ability to play guitar. "I wanted the lead 
actor to be a musician because one of the things I wanted the 
two characters to share is a love of music. It would allow for the 
older character to be able to show the younger character, 
Charley, how to play the guitar as a way to get to know each 

other." The 

^^ 77^ Tit . T -L..^^^^^^^^^v A. Eban plays for 

Charley in 
the film was a 
song Bolton 
wrote at the 
age of 19. 

Though he 
prod 1.1 ced 
Eban on a 
micro-budget 
of $30,000, 
Bolton says 



Actor Brent 
Fellows (right) 
plays guitar in his 
role for Jimmy 
Bolton's drama 
Eban and Charley. 




he was committed from the start to finding someone to develop 
an original score for the film, rather than taking the easier route 
of using existing music. The reason, he says, is that in a film, par- 
ticularly one as slow-paced as Eban, the music should comple- 
ment the images, not saturate them. Or as R.E.M.'s Michael 
Stipe once put it: "The best score is one that you don't even 
know is there. When people depend too heavily on music to lift 
or float the dynamic of the scene, you have to question their 
abilities as a filmmmaker." 

"I don't want to use a hit I've heard on the radio a million 
times and have already associated with other images and ideas," 
Bolton says. "Even if I need a pop song, for example, to use as 
background in a cafe, I want something we've never heard 
before, and I think it will be all the better if it's a piece of music 
inspired by the movie." 

Despite having zero budget for music, Bolton not only managed 
to get the original score he desired, he even had it composed by 
Stephin Merritt of The Magnetic Fields — a band that just released 
69 Lore Songs, one of the most critically acclaimed albums of the 
year. Though it helped that Bolton had contacts in the music 
industry and an award-winning short film to his credit, Merritt 
says he agreed to do the score mostly because he liked the film. 

"What interested me about scoring this film was that it's a 
genuinely suspenseful story — you don't know how it's going to 
turn out in the end," Merritt says. "I was interested in doing 
music that wouldn't lead you to believe that a particular thing 
was going to happen in the end. This was either a sort of horror 
movie or a love story, depending on the way the movie is gonna 
come out. I didn't want to make music that would encourage one 
view or the other, so I ended up with atonal percussion music." 

With Bolton in Portland, Oregon, and Merritt in New York 
City, the entire collaboration was conducted by mailing tapes 
back and forth. "I was perfectly happy not talking to [Bolton] all 
that much about what he wanted," says Merritt. "I felt like what 
I needed to do was provide a counter-perspective to his ideas." 
He says the artistic freedom he was given made up for the fact 
that he wasn't being paid. "I generally don't do anything for free, 
but in this case I thought it was a good playground for me. 
Especially since Jimmy wasn't demanding anything in particular. 
I didn't want to go out and buy a video-editing suite, so I figured 
that I could, with little expenditure of my own, see if I liked 
doing a film score." 



32 THE INDEPENDENT March 2002 



The two reached an agree- 
ment that Merritt would keep 
all rights to the soundtrack 
(which was released shortly 
before the film's release in 
January). Bolton says the film 
definitely won extra mileage 
thanks to its connection to 
Merritt's music, both from critics, 
and people who were motivated 
to see the film because they're 
fans of The Magnetic Fields. 

MUSIC AND FILM: A MATCH 
MADE IN HEAVEN? 

On rare occasion, a director's 
film and a composer's music seem 
like a match made in heaven: 
Godfrey Reggio and Philip 
Glass's collaborations on the 
Quatsi trilogy {Koyaanisqatsi, 
Powaqquatsi and Naqoyqatsi, 
which is currently in produc- 
tion) are a perfect example. 
Reggio's visual images are the 

ideal match for Glass's sounds, which form a delicate framework 
for the ideas and emotions that the films are trying to convey. 
More often than not, however, it's no simple task for a film direc- 
tor, who thinks and speaks in visual terms, to find his or her 
musical other half 

Composer Mark Northam says film directors and music com- 
posers often have a hard time understanding each other's needs, 
especially if the musician hasn't worked on films before. 
Northam has scored more than 15 indie features, in addition to 
a few television series. A classically trained jazz musician, he 
toured for years before settling in Los Angeles, where he studied 
film music composition at UCLA. 

In 1997, he co-founded the Film Music Network, an organi- 
zation that serves the film composer communities of L.A., San 
Francisco, and Boston. Recently, Northam authored a resource 
guide for filmmakers called The Film Music Handbook, and 
launched a companion web site, MusicForYourFilm.com, which 
offers downloadable contracts and information on music licens- 
ing. The site also pairs film projects with music composers and 
orchestras — all free of charge. 

Northam complains that far too many film scores today lack 
originality, often because the director uses scratch music while 
editing the film, then gets stuck with a cliche idea of how film 
music should sound. "That's why you have so many films that all 
sound like Braveheart," he laments. "But 1 think if you're going to 
make a film that looks original, it should also sound original." 

First time documentarian Sarah George, a native of Seattle, 
recently made a film called Riding the Rails about modern-day 
hobos. Among other difficulties, such as having to sneak her pro- 
duction crew onto moving trains while dodging police, George 
struggled with the issue of music. Since this was to be a story of 
modern hobos, she was patently against the idea of using tradi- 
tional folk music. George wrote a letter to singer Ani DiFranco 




Musician Stephen Merritt of tlie popular Magnetic Fields wrote music to match the suspense of Bolton's story. 



describing her film, with an advance apology that she had no 
money to pay for music. Though DiFranco declined, she made a 
generous offer to let George use any of her pre-existing material 
free of charge. Still, George felt strongly that she needed original 
music to convey the natural rhythm of trains and the personali- 
ties of her characters. 

By chance, the film's editor Casey Chinn ran into Seattle 
singer/songwriter Pete Droge on a flight and told him about the 
project. After seeing a rough cut of the film, Droge agreed to do 
the score, with the understanding that George would only pay 
for his recording-related expenses. Droge has previously had his 
music featured in movies, including Almost Famous and Dumb 
and Dumber, but had never composed a film score. George, a self- 
described "music idiot," says that Droge would play instruments 
for her over the phone as she stumbled through explanations of 
what she wanted. At one point, she says, the collaboration near- 
ly fell apart because she was unable to express what she was look- 
ing for. But after the two sat down together for a crash course in 
music vocabulary, it all started to come together. 

"Basically, it had reached a crisis stage," George says. "So I got 
on a plane in L.A. [where she now lives] and flew to Seattle to 
spend a few days working with Pete in his studio." 

Droge says he now understands a composer's role in develop- 
ing a score as being like that of a band supporting a vocalist. "It's 
like what's happening on stage. A good band backs the singer 
and keeps the momentum going, but hopefully without drowning 
out the lyrics." 

FICTION VS. NON-FICTION 

"Someone gave me a CD by Belle & Sebastian and I thought 
it would be perfect for this dreamy, wistful Scooby character 1 
had in mind," says director Todd Solondz of his decision to work 
with the quirky Glasgow band to score his new film Storytelling. 



March 2002 THE INDEPENDENT 33 



(iThe best score is one 
that you don't even 
kno^v is there. 5 ^ 

— Michael Stipe 




Left, Tod So\onz's Storytelling; right, Michael Dotninc's Boive/y B/ues. 

Actually, because Storytelling is divided into two distinct 
segments, "Fiction" and "Non-Fiction," Solondz had to 
deal with two entirely separate scores. The choice for the 
first segment was based on a tip from Solondz's music edi- 
tor, who recommended Nathan Larson of the band 
Shudder to Think. Larson also scored Boys Don't Cry. He 
teamed-up with girlfriend Nina Persson of the Swedish 
pop band The Cardigans for some of the Storytelling tracks. The 
second segment was scored by Belle & Sebastian, who also com- 
posed the music for Sofia Coppola's The Virgin Suicides. 

"Nathan hit the bull's eye the first time, then we just refined 
it a bit," says Solondz. "With Belle & Sebastian, it was more of a 
back and forth process. They had a lot more ideas, not all of 
which worked, often because there just wasn't a place for it. The 
way I write hasn't been appropriate for wall-to-wall music." 

Though Storytelling is by far the most music oriented of 
Solondz's films, he says that music has always been an important 
aspect of his filmmaking, and that he strongly prefers using orig- 
inal scores over existing music. Like many directors, however, 
Solondz has struggled at times while working with music com- 
posers. "1 actually hired a well-known composer for my first film, 
Welcome to the Dollhouse, and flew all the way to England to meet 
with him, but I ended up scrapping the entire score because it 
didn't work with the film," he says. 

DOWN AND OUT: THE BOWERY BLUES 

Michael Dominic knew he wanted original jazz music for his 
documentary Sunshine Hotel, about an infamous flophouse in 
New York's Bowery area. So to score part of the film, Dominic 
tried something unusual: he turned to the subjects themselves. 

In the film we learn that Nathan Smith, the hotel's chain- 
smoking clerk and a live-in resident, was once a successful jazz 
musician. Dominic visits Smith in his cramped room, where a key- 
board takes up half the space, and lets the camera roll on old pho- 
tos of Smith while he improvises tunes. A haunting voice-over of 
Smith reading the Charles Bukowski poem "Flophouse" later 
accompanies images of the hotel. Dominic says he considers the 
poem to be as much a part of the film's score as the music itself. 

"I didn't want recorded music to take away too much from the 
sounds of the hotel, which I thought were so important," 



Dominic says, noting that he first got the idea to do the film 
based on a National Public Radio documentary he heard. "All 
the background noise of radios and TVs and yelling form what I 
see as a sort of natural soundtrack." 

Another segment captures several residents of the Sunshine 
holding a jazz jam session in a rehearsal space above the hotel. 
But in fact much of the film's music comes from Dominic's for- 
mer roommate, Martin Krusche. A tenor sax player who has 
recorded with the likes of jazz star Nicholas Payton, Krusche 
happened to be recording his own album at the same time that 
Dominic was making his film. They decided that Dominic's film 
would be a good vehicle to promote Krusche's album, and in 
turn Dominic was able to use the music for free. 

Krusche, who scored Dominic's first film Soup and The Dead, 
also volunteered as the documentar>''s general sound consultant, 
helping out with ever>'thing from placing music to boom operating. 

Like everything else in the world of independent filmmaking, 
it helps to have friends who are willing to lend a hand for free. 
But as some of the stories described here have shown, you might 
be surprised by the willingness of musicians to tr\' their hand at 
composing for ftlm with little or no remuneration, especially if it's 
a film they believe in. "Especially on low budget or no-budget 
projects, a positive, working relationship with a talented film- 
maker can mean a lot more in the long run to a composer or 
band than whatever financial compensation might be available." 

Merritt jokes that he may well have spent more of his own 
money on exotic percussion instruments for Eban & Charley 
than the director spent making the entire film. But he doesn't 
regret it, and hopes to do another score again. "I'm sure glad I 
did this movie," he says, "because I can say for certain that I 
would've never bought a Vietnamese dan mo otherwise." 

Richard Baimbndge is a contributing editor at The Independent. 
He owns an electric guitar, a sitar arut two Chinese flutes. 



34 THE INDEPENDENT March 2002 



BY Tamara Krinsky 



THE PROCESS OF PUTTING MUSIC 
INTO A FILM, WHETHER ORIGINAL 
SCORE, NEW SONGS, OR PRE-EXISTING 
MUSIC, IS A COMPLICATED ONE INVOLV- 
ING COPYRIGHT MATTERS, TECHNICAL 
ISSUES, AND CREATIVE COLLABORATION 
AMONG ARTISTS. WHEN MARRYING 
MUSIC AND IMAGE, YOU ARE TAKING ONE 
PERSON'S CREATIVE VISION AND ADDING IT TO SOMEONE ELSE'S IN 
ORDER TO CREATE A WHOLE NEW IDEA. 

There are a number of people involved in making this happen, all 
of whom have different priorities and opinions. In an effort to bet- 
ter understand the different pieces of the music puzzle, I've asked 
different members of the team for a few/ key suggestions. While 
some pieces of advice may conflict, it's important to know where 
each person is coming from. Ultimately, however, the goal for all is 
the same: to create the strongest film possible. 

Almost everyone agreed on three things. First, don't get attached 
to your temp track! Songs may not be available or affordable, and 
asking a composer to score something "that sounds just like this 
other music" can be creatively limiting. 

Second, hire a music supervisor, especially if you have a lot of 
music in your film. The money you spend will be worth it in the 
saved time and research energy, and in the avoidance of costly 
clearance headaches. Their awareness of where the expensive 
music bones are buried, and their relationships with labels, pub- 
lishers and talent are worth their fees. 

Lastly, as soon as you know what music you are interested in 
using, begin the clearance process. The more time you have, the 
more options you'll have. Plus, if you find out a song is out of your 
reach, you can begin looking for a new one before you become mar- 
ried to it, or worse yet, before you shoot music on film. 

Steven C. Beer, Founding Partner, Rudolph & Beer, LLP 

• Know the two types of music licenses typically used. A synchro- 
nization license grants the right to use the notes and lyrics of a 
song, also known as the underlying composition, without regard to 
who performs the song on your film. This license is needed when 
filming a band perform a cover song or when an actor sings a copy- 
right song on film. 

In contrast, a master use license grants the right to use a partic- 
ular artist's recording of a song, known as a sound recording. A 
master use license would be used to obtain permission to play Paul 
Simon's "Graceland" or Britney Spears' "Slave For You" recording 
during your film. Because any sound recording will also necessari- 
ly include the underlying notes and lyrics, a synchronization license 
must also be obtained every time a master use license is secured. 

• Plan to allocate between two percent and five percent of your 
production budget to music licenses, and know how you will be 
using music before obtaining them. If music is used during opening 
or closing credits or in advertising trailers, then the licensee will 
likely charge more than if the music is simply used in the back- 
ground during the course of the film. 

• Know how your film will be distributed before obtaining your 
licenses. If budgeting causes you to enter into a festival license, you 
should always obtain a price quote from the licensee for the syn- 
chronization and master use licenses needed for commercial release. 









• Many licensees require that you pay them no less than what you 
pay other licensees for the musical rights for the film. This is called 
a Most Favored Nations (MFN) clause. Should all music licensees 
agree to accept uniform compensation except one, then you must 
choose to either walk away from that one license or break the MFN 
clause and pay all other licensees greater compensation. 

Mary Ramos and Michelle Kuznetsky, Tri-Tone Music, 
Music Supervisors 

Credits include: Josie and the Pussycats, The Wedding Planner, 
Saving Silverman, Teaching Mrs. Tingle, Clay Pigeons; as Music 
Coordinator: Grace of My Heart, Pulp Fiction, Reality Bites. 

• You don't always need to use the songs of a major recording star. 
Be open to using friends who are musicians on independent labels. 

• When working with a music supervisor, be able to articulate 
what it is that you like about a particular song. For example, if you 
want to use James Brown's "I Feel Good," know why. Is it because 
of the style of music? The words "I feel good?" The mood of the 
piece? The pace or rhythm? Knowing what element of a song you 
like will help your music supervisors find other choices if necessary. 

• Consider musicians when you are casting. Sometimes you can 
find someone who will contribute musically to your film in return 
for the opportunity to be onscreen. When they score the film, 
sometimes they can then build in cues that will allow you to get 
around spending for individual song cues, thus saving you money. 

• Budget appropriately. There is no standard figure, but definitely 
pay attention to the number of cues in your film. Generally, you can 
expect to spend $7,500-$15,00G per cue. 

• Don't think that just because a song hasn't been played in 15 
years it's not expensive to license. Always remember: a song is a 
musician's livelihood. 

Harry Gregson-Williams, Composer 

Credits include: Spygame, Shrek, Chicken Run, Antz, Enemy of the 
State, Replacement Killers, Passionata, King of the Jungle, The Magic 
of Marciano. 

• Involve the composer as early as possible. Being on the set can 
really help a composer find the essence of what the director is try- 
ing to achieve. It gives the composer a three-dimensional refer- 
ence, as opposed to a two-dimensional reference, thus allowing the 
composer to more easily get into the mind of the director. 

• It's hard to talk about music. It's much better to have music to 
talk about. After reading the script, I will often write a 10-15 
minute suite of music that is not specifically written to picture. The 
suite will serve as a template for me and the director, allowing us 
to talk about the element what works for various characters and 
scenes. Sometimes, this suite can be used as the temp track, thus 
avoiding the common problem of "temp love" with unusable music. 

• Composers must make sure to check with the music supervisor 
that all songs have indeed been cleared and licensed. Otherwise, if 



March 2002 THE INDEPENDENT 35 



a song doesn't clear at the last moment, it can rebound on the com- 
poser and he or she can get stuck at the final hour having to write 
music for spots in the film thought to be covered by pre-recorded 
music. This causes creative, budgetary, and scheduling problems. 

Seth Berg, Director of Film and Television Music, 
EMI-Capital Music, Special Markets 

• Never assume you can or can't use a certain piece of music — 
always go to the label because you don't know what a label has 
planned for their artist. 

• Be aware of union (American Federation of Musicians) issues. 
The agreement you sign with the label says that the filmmaker is 
responsible for all other costs involved in using the music beyond 
licensing. This means that the film, not the label, pays royalties to 
the musicians. Royalties for musicians work similarly to actors' SAG 
residuals. In a recording session, musicians are paid to make a cer- 
tain configuration (tapes, LP's, CD's, etc.). The minute you change 
that configuration from audio-driven entertainment to video-driven, 
the musicians get paid again. 



A temp score can be with a film for three to 
four months, so it can take time to readjust 
when the composer^s music is added. 



• Be realistic about time. Publishers usually process 100-150 
requests per week for commercials, television, film and new media. 
If you send in a fax, don't expect to hear back from the publisher 
within the hour. Place a follow up call within the next day or two, 
but don't expect a yay or nay when you call. 

• Be aware of the difference between a music label and a music 
publisher. A publisher owns the rights to the composition, and 
works with the writers. There is only one or one set of publishers for 
a piece. A label, however, owns the rights to a specific rendition of 
a song by a particular artist. There may be 20 different artists who 
have recorded the same song, and each may be on a different label. 

• Do your homework before contacting the publisher. You should 
know the title and the writers of both the music and lyrics. These 
can be found by going to the BMI (www.bmi.com/licensing) or 
ASCAP (www.ascap.com/ace) web sites, which have tools to help 
you find the song's particulars as well as its publisher. 

• Be realistic and flexible when determining what rights you need. 
It's not always best to get all rights ahead of time. For example, if 
you have a small distribution deal, it may not be worth it to fight for 
^^^^H the video and new media windows. Chances are 

you won't be able to afford them. Festival rights 
generally have a window of one year, and most 
publishers charge a small fee which covers the 
administrative work. You may or may not be able 
to get the publisher to quote you commercial rights 
when you get your festival rights. 



• If you can't use an artist's music, don't get caught using their 
posters, t-shirts and CD's as set dressing or props. Everything 
around music is copyrighted, and using such materials gets into 
name and likeness issues. 

• Never assume that just because an artist is your friend, you can 
use his or her music. Even if the artist gives you the thumbs up, you 
still have to deal with the label. 

• If you choose not to use a music supervisor, try to be as informed 
as possible before contacting a label. Read The Big Book of Music 
Licensing. Don't write incredibly long letters to the label explaining 
just how special and unique your project is, and why you should be 
able to use a particular piece of music. Instead, go with a generic, 
short letter with a good juicy synopsis of your project. 

Richard Ford, Music Editor 

Credits include: Training Day, About Sclimidt, Tlie Cell, Election, 
American History X, Polish Wedding, Love Jones, Mary Jane's Last 
Dance 

• A common problem is when a director loves a piece of music that 
may not actually work in the film. When you love a song, you 
become subject to its nuances and flavors. But when it comes to 
placing it in a film, it may be like putting a square peg in a round 
hole. 

• A temp score can be with a film for three to four months, so it 
can take time to readjust when the composer's music is added. Be 
aware that a composer brings a fresh set of values to a film and 
don't let this throw you. Give yourself time to get used to the new 
music before judging it. 

Ron Broitman, Vice President, 
Film and Television Music for BMG Publishing 

• Generally, if a piece originates in the United States, it can take 
2-4 days to clear. If it originates in a foreign territory, however, it can 
take 2-3 weeks. 



Theodore Shapiro, Composer 

Credits include: lA^'ef Hot American Summer, Not Another Teen Movie, 
Heist, Bug, State and Main, Girlfight, Restaurant, Hurricane Streets. 

• Involve the composer at the beginning of the editing process. It's 
not useful to come in at an earlier point because a composer can't 
do that much with a script. It's more important to respond to visu- 
al rather than textual clues. 

• At the beginning of the editing process, give the composer three 
key scenes that have been edited together. The composer can then 
start cobbling together sound and music and feed this to the editor, 
who can then use it as the temp track. 

• The composer and the sound effects editor should work closely 
together. A common problem occurs when a composer scores a 
scene and the effects editor creates a sound design for a scene, and 
the two end up battling one another There is limited time on the 
mixing stage, so use it wisely, and create a symbiotic relationship 
between the two elements. 

• Don't try to save money by recreating the sound of an orchestra 
with synthesizers and samplers. It will always sound like a fake. If 
you are going to use a synthesizer, make it an aesthetic choice. 

• Be careful about hiring rock bands to score your film. It can work, 
but just because someone can write good songs doesn't mean that 
they will be able to compose music to picture. It is a separate skill. 

• The most helpful question for a composer to ask is, "What do you 
want music to do for this scene?" If a director can answer this ques- 
tion, then the composer can get his or her head out of the space of 
trying to match a particular sound or style. Instead, they can focus 
on making the music really do what the director wants, thus creat- 
ing a stronger story. 



Tamara Krinsky is the Associate Director of the Film Discovery Proogram 

at HBO's U.S. Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen, and is the 

Associate Editor of International Documentary Magazine. 



36 THE INDEPENDENT March 2002 



the people at Trio, the cable arts channel owned by 
USA Networks, know that there's more to a film 
score than meets the ear. And they're hoping that 
viewers will tune in to their upcoming original series 
The Score to get the inside scoop on the relationships 
between music and film and composer and director — and maybe 
even learn a little about the scoring process. 

The show is produced for Trio by Sony's Automatic 
Productions, which specializes in music and variety program- 
ming. Each of the one -hour episodes, which will air on Sundays 



to create programming that's not seen on any other channel and 
to work with people who are passionate about their project." 

The lineup for the series includes directors Taylor Hackford, 
Sydney Pollack, Rob Reiner, and the late Ted Demme, and com- 
posers Danny Elfman, Marc Shaiman, and James Newton 
Howard. Brian Wilson, Matthew Sweet, and Patti Austin are 
among the musicians who stopped by to perform during the film- 
ing. 

Kadison notes that for Automatic, scheduling the 
director/musician teams was one of the hardest parts of putting 



Phil Ramone, 
Aosf of The Score, 
likes to talk to his 
guests and get 
them talking. 




in March to coincide with Oscar month, pairs an acclaimed 
director with his musical partner on a particular project or vari- 
ety of projects. The hour is filled with conversations, film clips, 
and musical performances. "It's both a talk show and a perfor- 
mance show," explains Andy Kadison, senior vice president, 
Sony Music Studios and Automatic Productions, "so it's enter- 
taining and engrossing." It's the kind of behind-the-scenes peek 
that draws people to DVDs, he says. "We can go beyond the 
fourth wall and reveal to casual viewers and devotees alike infor- 
mation about favorite movies and music." 

The concept for the show was brought to Trio by famed tele- 
vision producer Norman Lear and acclaimed music producer 
Phil Ramone. The idea, says Ramone, "came from nights in the 
studio after scoring, and the way we sit around and decompress 
afterward. Some of the most interesting discussions come at that 
time." And so, he decided he'd love to get a group of people 
together, "and get them in a not overly conscious state, not 
scripted, and fire the questions" to explore the connection 
between film and music. "The marriage of music and film is the 
most unbelievable process. It's hard to describe until you see it," 
he explains. 

The way Andrew Cohen, vice president original programming 
at Trio, tells it, the show is just right for the channel. "Phil and 
Norman came to us with this idea about creating a show about 
the magic that occurs during the scoring stage — to have two 
people of this stature come and pitch you this idea.... For Trio 
this is exactly the way we like to go about programming. We like 



the series together. "In any good creative effort, you want to 
strike a balance between the old and new," he explains, noting 
that they ended up with a good mix in terms of contemporary 
film history, from Sydney Pollack down to the MTV-generation 
director Brett Ratner. "It's hard when you're scheduling a multi- 
artist show," he adds. "One of the challenges is making sure the 
schedules all work." 

But according to Cohen, once filming began, it all came 
together. "Phil [Ramone, who hosts the show] has personal rela- 
tionships with all these people, so he's the guide of the hour." He 
talks to his guests and gets them talking about, for example, how 
the music for a certain scene came about. "It's as if the viewer is 
eavesdropping on a great director, who is sitting in the middle of 
a scoring stage talking to a great composer with whom he has 
collaborated or wanted to collaborate." 

Cohen also mentions the DVD set when he considers the 
show's potential audience. "Anyone who loves all the special fea- 
tures about DVDs will love this show. This show is one big rock- 
ing DVD." But Kadison sees the show as more than just enter- 
tainment; it's education as well. "More and more consumers are 
interested in the process and how their favorite movies get made. 
This show in particular caters to that, goes to the next level." 
But, he adds, "One of the most daunting aspects of filmmaking 
is doing the score. And The Score is like a master in scoring." 

For more information about The Score, go to www.triotv.com. 

Farrin ]acobs is a book editor in New York. 



March 2002T HE INDEPENDENT 37 



iFCFiimsJhe Business of Synergy 



Sr. VP Bob Berney discusses distribution and the intermittent joys of success 



By Patricia Thomson 



^l^n the independent film world, cable television was once 

the little guy, the milquetoast who was constantly muscled aside by powerful 
and sexy theatrical distributors as they led hot new directors to the negotiating table. 




Bob Berney, senior vice president of 
IPC Films marketing and distribution. 



But things have changed. Cable 
channels are investing in origi- 
nal productions — and not 
movies of the week, but top 
quality films. And now they're 
stepping into the theatrical dis- 
tribution ring. 

In September 2000, the 
Independent Film Channel 
launched IFC Films, thus becom- 
ing the first cable channel to cre- 
ate its own theatrical distribution 
company handling indie and for- 
eign features. As part of IFC Entertainment, the new distributor 
is siblings with the cable channel and with IFC's production and 
financing units: IFC Productions, Next Wave Films, and InDigEnt. 
Synergy is a word that carries the unpleasant residue of cor- 
porate -speak. But in the case of IFC Films, it's the very thing 
that gives them a leg-up in a tough, competitive environment. It 
was one of the elements that convinced writer/director Patrick 
Stettner, for one, to go with their offer for his film The Business 
of Strangers. When IFC Films opened Stettner's sharp character 
drama in over 20 markets in December, the director was delight- 
ed with the extras that surrounded it: Promotional spots on IFC 
and sister channel Bravo; co-star Stockard Channing featured 
on Bravo's Inside the Actors Studio; a profile on the IFC series 
At the Angelika; teaser previews on the IFCTV web site, plus 
junkets in L.A. and New York and an Academy Award campaign 
for Channing and co-star Julia Stiles. 

"There has been synergy applied to my film," says Stettner, 
"but it's not synergy in a weird way. They're not selling Happy 
Meals." From his perspective, the marriage is working quite well. 
"I've felt really blessed." 

Aiming to release 10 to 12 films per year, IFC Films will no 
doubt become a formidable new presence on the indie playing 
field. Heading up this enterprise is Bob Berney, senior vice pres- 
ident of marketing and distribution. In this interview, the former 
Texan talks with The Independent about his past as an arthouse 
owner, his marketing strategy behind the breakthrough hit 
Memento, and how the synergy of IFC really works. 



The Independent: Your film career begins in Texas, where you studied 
film history and production at the University of Texas in Austin. Do you 
have family roots here as well? 

Bob Berney: We're from Oklahoma, but I had all sorts of rela- 
tives in south Texas. 

In college, you worked as a projectionist at an AMC theater I've known 
people who've done this job, but none who subsequently bought a theater, 
as you did. 

I got hooked on it. It was one of those things that you fall into, 
and I ended up loving the theater business. Not that the theaters 
I was working in were showing great films, but I fell in love with 
the audience and the put-on-a-show aspect of it. 

What was the Inwood Theater like when you bought it? 

It was the big theater in Dallas that had gone down the tubes 
because it was old. However, it was in a great location, right in 
front of everybody's eyes — a beautiful art moderne theater — but 
they'd forgotten about it. It was playing dollar-movies, like Sound 
of Music. Then there was a fire in the theater, and they just 
closed it. We restored it, and as soon as we did, people 
said, 'Oh! I'd forgotten about that.' There was a fairly 
immediate reaction. 

It had a huge lobby with murals on the ceiling, and one of the 
things we did was put in a bar. This was before the coffee house 
craze, but it ended up being the same thing — a place where peo- 
ple would hang around and talk about the movies. We started 
doing film festivals there, and they used the bar as a meeting 
place. So it became more of a film center, which now theaters 
like Angelika do, but that was really the first one to have that 
kind of space. 

When was this? 

1981, 1982. I was in Dallas 10 years and had the theater proba- 
bly four years. 

According to filmmakers in Dallas, the Inwood's claim to fame was the 
degree to which It meshed with the local community. As you note, there 
was the 1940s martini lounge and the film festivals, but you also paid 
attention to details like air conditioning and projection. Now that most 



38 THE INDEPENDENT March 2002 



independent theaters have been bought out by national chains, is it still 
possible to have that kind of T.L.C. and community ties? 

I think it can be done, even within larger operations. You just 
have to have a corporate philosophy to have a film culture. You 
have to know your audience and really care about it. But main- 
ly the trick is consistency of both product and atmosphere. 
That's where the larger circuits that have tried to play art films 
haven't succeeded, because they try it for two months then say, 
'Well, we didn't have a hit,' and give up. But it's the consistency 
of product. You can't alternate action films and arthouse films. 
The ones that succeed understand that — the Landmarks or 
Angelikas or some of the regional independent houses that still 
work. And they're interwoven with community — with restau- 
rants, with the media, with reporters — so they build support 
from the community at large. 



accept the film, that there would be a disconnect with the style 
and particularly with the end. Even the art audience, they felt, 
just wouldn't go for a backwards movie. But it turns out the audi- 
ence accepted it. They loved to be fooled in a smart way. They 
loved the conceit of it. Plus, when you think about it, it has a 
really great cast and a really good look. 

What was your marketing strategy for that film? 

Number one, we had the luxury of time. I decided to wait until 
March to release it. Even though we knew it was going to be in 
Toronto and Venice, we decided to wait, so that we could do a 
long-lead web campaign. The marketing was really organic to 
the story. Jonah, who is Chris Nolan's brother, wrote the short 
story, and he had also had built the website and was 



What are the key changes in the exhibition realm since your days at 
the Inwood? 

Incredible expansion; the whole change toward stadium- seat- 
ing megaplexes. I believe it was AMC that put in the first 
one — in Dallas — and that literally changed the whole business. 

How so? 

If you put in one of these megaplex stadium theaters, any the- 
ater in the vicinity went out of business immediately, like the 
next week. Any company that did this would cannibalize even 
their own theaters. So everyone had to build, and there was a 
spiral of increased costs. It ended up bankrupting almost all U.S. 
exhibitors. But bankruptcy was also apparently a business strat- 
egy to shed the old and build the new. Now basically everyone's 
come out of bankruptcy and is starting to build again. And we're 
seeing more theaters that will play arthouse films, so I think 
we're actually coming into a better time. It was fairly bleak for 
awhile there. 

Fast-forwarding through your resume, you moved from exhibition to dis- 
tribution and marketing, working in L.A. with Triton Films, Orion Pictures, 
and Banner Entertainment. Then, most recently, you served as a consul- 
tant for Good Machine on Happiness and for Newmarket on Memento. 
Let's talk a bit about the distribution of Memento. This was a terrific film 
that almost didn't make it out of the gate. 

The producers of Memento, who loved the film, found them- 
selves with no acceptable U.S. offers. Not wanting to just let it 
go or give it away on a deal they didn't like, they decided to dis- 
tribute it themselves. 

I had seen the film, but I really didn't know the people at 
Newmarket; they worked with Good Machine a lot, so we had a 
mutual connection. We met and discussed the kind of budget it 
would take to open the film. I didn't know they didn't have an 
offer; I was like, 'Why am I even here? Just to tell you the film's 
great?' And they're saying, 'No, we need to figure out something 
to do, fast.' This was in July. Luckily, they had the money to do 
it themselves, and we discussed how it went with Happiness and 
what kind of risk it would take. 

Why do you believe no one made a good offer on Memento? 

I think distributors personally liked the film and thought it would 
get some reviews, but they thought the audience would not 




oVv\ev*\€^.cov*\ 



almost done. It was a site that wasn't about the film, but about 
the character, Leonard, looking for help in finding the murderer. 
I thought that we should just get going on that. I thought the 
Internet audience would respond to the puzzle nature of that. 

Then how did you promote the website? 

We did these Polaroid cards that showed Guy [Pearce] and the 
website address — 'memento' spelled backwards — and started 
floating them around at festivals, beginning with Toronto and 
Venice. Then we did a wild posting in New York over Christmas. 
Again, nothing about the movie; just the website backwards, 
with an odd picture of Guy. And it just started to work. We also 
did a lot of email marketing, seeding the movie. We would start 
building lists and send out email from Leonard, the character, 
asking for help, and we also would do direct mails that would 



March 2002 THE INDEPENDENT 39 



give the website. Some people thought they were actually being 
stalked. People were calling the FBI. You could tell something 
was happening! Just the buzz; it started feeding on itself. The 
next thing was just solid, 100 percent reviews and audience reac- 
tion at Venice, Toronto, and finally Sundance. And it was just 
over the top. 

Let's move on to IFC Films. 
Spring Forward was tlie divi- 
sion's first release. The film 
had been financed in part by 
IFC Productions, then went on 
the festival circuit, including 
Toronto and Sundance, but no 
buyers bit. One year after 
Spring Forward's premiere at 
Toronto, IFC launched its own 
theatrical division. Was 
Spring Forward the catalyst 
for the formation of IFC Films? 
Partly, but more important 
were the films that went 
on to success, like [IFC 
Productions'] Boys Don't 
Cry. Distributors usually 
have 'possession' of the 
film, so there was a certain 
feeling that Boys Don't Cry 
became a Fox film. 
The other motive is hav- 
ing films like Spring 
Forward that didn't have a 
home. That's not neces- 
sarily the reason to create 
a distribution company, 
but we were able to get 
some of those films out to 
the marketplace. 

Where do you see IFC Films 
fitting into the current land- 
scape of distributors? 

It's in the middle, with a 
fairly aggressive plan. The 
larger companies — like 
Miramax and Fine Line, to 
some degree — have really 
wide releases and huge, 
huge marketing cam- 
paigns. Then there's Strand, Cowboy, and the really tiny compa- 
nies, and there didn't seem to be much in the middle. Lions Gate 
and Sony Classics were there in this mid-range, hut Sony, with 
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, has gotten fairly big, and Lions 
Gate has also moved towards wider releases and video or ancil- 
lary-driven films. So there were a lot of sales agents and produc- 
ers with nowhere to go. 

IFC Films provides a niche for still-independent films and a 
mid-level distribution business that was lacking in the market. A 



lot of theater owners look at the distributors and find there's not 
a lot of publicity or ad support for small films once you get out of 
New York or L.A. You're really looking for a distributor that will 
promote the films across the country and in all the markets, 
doing ads or promotions just like you do in New York or L.A. So 

that's what we're really 
trying to do — be fairly 
persuasive and aggressive 
in releasing films. 



Left: 
Julia Stiles 
confronts 
Stockard 
Channing 
in Patrick 
Stettner's 
The Business 
of Strangers. 




Right: 

Diego Luna and Gael Garcia 

Bernal in spring release 

Y Tu Mama Tambien, a more 

personal project for filmmakers 

Alfonso and Carlos Cuaron. 



How might IFC Films survive 
where so many distributors 
have failed? 

One advantage is being 
part of Bravo. There's a 
lot of ways the network 
can support our theatrical 
releases that do make a 
difference — not only pro- 
moting on air, but making 
tie-ins to shows like 
Inside the Actors Studio. 
Also, doing screenings 
and premieres in regional 
markets like Dallas, 
Denver, and Seattle helps 
boost the normal P&A 
budget. It's all part of a 
broader view towards 
branding; the publicity 
that theatrical distribu- 
tion provides gives value 
to the whole company. 
That gives us a slightly 
different and longer view. 
That said, we still have to 
find the right films and 
have success with them. 



What is the relationship 
between IFC Films and the 
projects made under IFC 
Productions, Next Wave, and 
InDigEnt? Do you get first 
crack at them? 

Right now they're ver^' 
separate, arms-length 
divisions. For example, 
with Next Wave, we 
acquired two of their films — the documentary' Keep the River on 
Your Right and Manic — but we acquired them at festivals, mak- 
ing offers. It wasn't automatic. It's the same with IFC 
Productions. We have to negotiate offers, because often there are 
third-part^' investors or foreign sales already involved. IFC 
Productions has gotten offers from other distributors that 
have been really good, like for Waking Life and Monsoon 
Wedding. Although I like the films, the economics of it didn't 
make sense for us. 



40 THE INDEPENDENT March 2002 



That said, I think there will be projects moving forward that 
we'll work together on. We just announced Casa de los Babys, a 
new John Sayles film. That's a case where we're going in togeth- 
er. Then we're committing to release some of the seventies-era 
docs acquired by the channel. So I see us moving toward doing 
things from the beginning together. This evolution is taking 



IFC FiliPi Slate to olP" 




2000: 


December 


Spring Forward, din Tom Gilroy 




2001: 


March 


Keep the River on Your Right: A Modern 




Cannibal Tale, din David Shapiro and 




Lauren Gwen Shapiro (documentary) 


April 


The King Is Alive, din Kristian Levring 


May 


Our Song, din Jim McKay 


July 


Jump Tomorrow, din Joel Hopkins 


August 


Thomas in Love, 




din Pierre-Paul Renders 




Together, din Lukas Moodysson 




Happy Accidents, din Brad Anderson 


September 


Go Tigers!, din Kenneth A, Carlson 




(documentary) 


December 


The Business of Strangers, 




din Patrick Stettner 




2002: 




(release schedule subject to change) 


March 


Big Bad Love, din Arliss Howard 


March 


YTu Mama Tambien, din Alfonso Cuaron 


April 


John Sayles retrospective 


April 


Gangster No. 1, din Paul McGuigan^— 


May 


The Chateau, din Jesse Peretz ^^m 


June 


Manic, din Jordan Melamed ^H 


July 


The Safety of Objects, din Rose^||^H 


HBHHHIHHHHHHHHHI 



place only because of the way the distribution company start- 
ed — after the fact. The production company had already been 
geared up to go to festivals and sell the films. So it's just going to 
take us awhile to feel out the right road, and I think it's going to 
be project by project rather than sweeping dramatic changes in 
either division. 

Where does the digital film division InDigEnt fit in all of this? Their whole 
first slate of five films, including Rick Linklater's Tape, was picked up by 
Lions Gate. 

Those are films we could pick up, but the deal with Lions Gate 
was made before we existed. So IFC Films could release a pack- 
age or selected films from the next group, but it's the same thing: 
we're looking at arms-length deals on films that make sense for 
the distribution company to release. 

Can filmmakers seeking distribution approach IFC Films directly, or do 
you prefer to either solicit work or see it at festivals or markets? 

Sarah Lash, IFC Films' director of acquisitions, attends all the 
key festivals and markets, and that's where we see most of the 
work. Otherwise, filmmakers can go through agents, sales reps, 
or possibly someone in IFC they happen to know. But we're real- 
ly not set up to deal with unsolicited submissions. We'd just get 
overwhelmed. 

Which festivals do you and your staff attend? 

Sundance, Toronto, and Cannes, but we also cover Berlin, 
Telluride, and Seattle. 

Markets? 

Not so much. AFM and MIFED we'll have some representation, 
but not much, and a Uttle here at IFFM. 

How do the theatrical and cable channel divisions interact when you're 
acquiring a film? Is a theatrical buy contingent on getting television 
rights? 

When we buy something, it always includes all rights — specifi- 
cally, basic cable rights. 

So are you and the cable channel conferring back and forth about acqui- 
sitions? 

We talk all the time, because we always go to the festivals 
together. But we're looking at films for the theatrical business 
first, because that's why we're buying films. Obviously any the- 
atrical release benefits from a later play on the channel. The 
more publicity, the more awareness there is. 

Let's talk a bit about the synergy within the overall company. What 
specifically do IFC and Bravo do to help promote IFC Films' releases? 

IFC has run making-of shows, special interviews, and promo- 
tional spots. There have been times when Bravo also gets 
involved. Deborah Winger, who's in Big Bad Love, is going to be 
on Inside the Actors Studio. Bravo Profiles has profiled a lot of 
our films. So there's that, and it's also about running premieres 
in regional cities. The channel might invite cable affiliates to 
attend a premiere, which helps us make regional promotional 
events into bigger premiere events. And that helps bring in tal- 
ent. All that's value-added to the normal P&A budget, which 



March 2002 THE INDEPENDENT 41 




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gives us a bigger focus and lift, particular- 
ly in the regional markets. There's even 
the hold music in the Cablevision com- 
panies [of which IFC and Bravo are 
part], which might say something about 
The Business of Strangers, for instance. We 
hope all this synergy ultimately has the 
effect of increasing awareness. We're just 
getting to the point where it's doing that, 
where we're pulling it together. 

Does IFC Films benefit from a relationship with 
the theater chain Clearview, which is owned by 
parent corporation Rainbow Programming 
Holdings? What's their commitment or obliga- 
tion, if any? 

Clearview is part of the overall company, 
but it's very separate. I would say they've 
shown all our films in the locations that 
are appropriate. They have theaters in 
Chelsea, and on First and 62nd that play 
a lot of arthouse films. But they're not 
going to force anything. It's not like the 
[1,100-seat] Ziegfeld is going to play Our 
Song. But they've been pretty good sup- 
porters. They promote our films and give 
us a broader trailer coverage and promo- 
tional outlet in Manhattan and the bor- 
oughs. They have a pretty good string of 
theaters in the surrounding area, which 
do play arthouse and indie films. 

Finally, what's the key to maintaining a sane 
and healthy life within the nail-biting world of 
film distribution? 

Generally, it's an unhealthy and insane 
place to be (laughs). What's keeps me 
going are the intermittent joys of success, 
both big and small. There's a major suc- 
cess like Memento, which no one expect- 
ed. There's the joy of being able to work 
in a company that releases a film like Our 
Song, which might otherwise have been 
overlooked. I was proud ot that. There's 
joy to be found in working with someone 
like Patrick Stettner, who was making his 
first film; or with Carlos Cuaron, who has 
directed studio films but turned to a more 
personal film with Y Tu Mama Tambien; 
or Debra Winger, who is known for a 
whole different thing — acting — but now 
is an independent producer. Working 
with good people and projects makes up 
for all the craziness in between. 

Patricia Thomson is a contributing editor 
to The Independent. 



42 THE INDEPENDENT March 2002 



Self Defense 
for Screenwriters 



By Mark Litwak, Esq. 



As AN ENTERTAINMENT ATTORNEY I AM 
often called upon to assist writers who 
have gotten themselves into trouble 
because they don't understand how their 
work infringes the rights of others. A 
writer who learns the fine points of the 
law through trial and error is receiving an 
expensive education. Here is a brief expla- 
nation of how to protect yourself 

Purely fictional characters 

If your script or film contains fictional 
characters — characters from your imagi- 
nation — you generally do not need to 
obtain any permissions or releases. 
However, if there is a chance that the 
public could mistake your imaginary char- 
acters for real people, you could be liable 
if you have thereby infringed their rights. 

You can protect yourself by making sure 
your fictional characters cannot be mis- 
taken for real people. Check the phone 
book to see if any people with your char- 
acter's name reside at the location por- 
trayed in your story. If there is a person in 
that community with the same name or a 
similar one, consider changing the locale 
or setting the story in a fictional locale. 
Give characters unusual names that no 
living individual would have. Add a dis- 
claimer at the beginning of the film stat- 
ing that any resemblance to persons living 
or dead is purely coincidental. 

If fictional characters are drawn from 
another's literary work, you might be 
infringing that author's copyright unless 
the work has gone into the public domain, 
or your use is considered a fair use. You 
may borrow personality traits, however, 
without infringing another's copyright. 
The first author to create a hard-boiled 
private eye, for example, cannot prevent 
other authors from creating their own 
hard-boiled private eyes. 

Characters that have a visual component, 
such as comic book characters, are more 
likely to be protected under copyright law. 
Moreover, if you borrow the name of some- 
one else's character you may be infringing 
trademark rights they may have in the char- 
acter, and engaging in unfair competition. 



Fictional characters 
based on real people 

A writer's imagination necessarily draws 
upon one's life experiences and people the 
writer has met. If a fictional character is 
loosely based on a real life individual, and 
the public cannot identify the real life 
individual from the context in which the 
fictional character is portrayed, there is 
little risk of liability. 



of privacy. After the novel was published, 
but before the movie was released, 
Leopold published his own autobiography. 

The court found against Leopold, stat- 
ing that books, magazines and motion pic- 
tures are forms of public expression pro- 
tected by the First Amendment. The 
court noted that while the book and 
movie were "suggested" by Leopold's 
crime, they were evidently fictional 
works. The novel and film depicted por- 
tions of Leopold's life that he had caused 
to be placed in public view. The court did 
not consider the fictionalized aspects 
highly offensive, which is the standard for 
determining invasion of privacy. 

The court also noted that a documen- 



"Truth is an absolute privilege because our society 
values truth more than a person s reputation." 



On the other hand, suppose you wrote 
a novel about the widow of a former 
American president assassinated in Dallas, 
and the widow character later marries a 
Greek shipping tycoon. Although you 
have labeled the book a "novel," have said 
that this is a work of fiction, and have 
given the characters fictitious names, 
readers may nevertheless believe you are 
writing about Jackie Kennedy. If you had 
defamed her while she was alive, or other- 
wise invaded her rights, she might have 
had a good cause of action against you. 
You can be liable for defaming an individ- 
ual even if you do not name her. 

An interesting case is Leopold v. Levin. 
The plaintiff pleaded guilty in 1924 to 
kidnapping and murdering a young boy. 
Because of the sensational nature of the 
crime, the case attracted international 
notoriety that did not wane over time. 

In 1956, Levin, the defendant, wrote a 
novel entitled Compulsion. The case was 
the framework for the novel, although 
Leopold's name was not in it. The book 
was described as a fictionalized account of 
the Leopold murder case. The motion pic- 
ture based on the book featured actors who 
resembled the actual persons from the 
case. The promotional materials referred 
to the crime but made it clear that the 
story was a work of fiction suggested by 
real life events. Leopold sued for invasion 



tary account of the Leopold case would be 
constitutionally protected. Also, an 
entirely fictional work inspired by the case 
would be protected if matters such as 
locale were changed and the plaintiff was 
not identified. 

Portraying identifiable persons 

A person's right to privacy has to be bal- 
anced against other people's rights under 
the First Amendment. If Kitty Kelly wants 
to write an unauthorized biography about 
Frank Sinatra, she can do so without his 
permission. Likewise, Mike Wallace and 
his "60 Minutes" camera crew can film 
others without their permission. However, 
journalists' rights are not absolute. If 
Wallace placed a hidden camera in a 
department store dressing room, he would 
be liable for damages for invading the pri- 
vacy of customers. 

Determining whether a filmmaker has 
infringed upon the rights of a subject who 
has not consented to be portrayed can be 
a complex matter The status of the sub- 
ject — whether he is a public figure or pub- 
lic official, and whether he is alive or 
deceased — may be important. Whether 
the activities portrayed are newsworthy 
may also be decisive. And the manner in 
which a person's likeness is used — 
whether in a film or on a coffee cup — is 
relevant as well. 



March 2002 THE INDEPENDENT 43 



Here are some guidelines you may 
follow to avoid liability from subjects 
portrayed in your script or film: 

1) OBTAIN RELEASES 

Obtain releases whenever possible. It never 
hurts to have a release even if it is not legal- 
ly required. Do not forget to get releases 
from the immediate family and friends of a 
subject if those people appear in the story. 

2) FICTIONALIZE THE STORY 

Change the identity of the individu-als, the 
names of the characters and the location so 
that the public will not be able to identify 
any characters with any living individuals. 

3) ADD A DISCLAIMER 

If your characters are fictional, add an 
express disclaimer to that effect so viewers 
will not be confused. 

4) PRIVATE INDIVIDUALS 

Be especially careful about portraying living 
individuals who are not public officials or 
figures. Remember that deceased individu- 
als cannot sue for defamation or invasion of 
privacy and that public figures and officials 
have to prove actual malice in order to 
recover Thus, a filmmaker is most vulnerable 
when portraying living private individuals. 

5) ASSEMBLE EVIDENCE 
TO PROVE THE TRUTH 

Make sure you can prove that any defama- 
tory statements you make are true. Annotate 
your script with the sources of your infor- 
mation so that you can document its truth 
and show that you acted carefully and with- 
out actual malice. 

6) CLEAR THE SCRIPT 

Have an attorney closely review your script 
for potential liability before production. If 
you can change the names of subjects and 
the setting without detracting from the dra- 
matic value of the story, do so. 

7) OBTAIN INSURANCE 

Make sure the production company obtains an 
Errors and Omissions (E & 0) insurance policy 
and that it includes you as a named insured. 



These are the most likely grounds upon 
which to sue for an unauthorized portrayal: 

Defamation: Defamation is a commu- 
nication that harms the reputation of 
another so as to lower him in the opinion 
of the community or to deter third per- 
sons from associating or dealing with him. 
For example, those communications that 
expose another to hatred, ridicule or con- 
tempt, or reflect unfavorably upon one's 
personal morality or integrity are defama- 
tory. One who is defamed may suffer 
embarrassment and humiliation, as well 
as economic damages, such as the loss of 
a job or the ability to earn a living. 

The law of defamation can be very 
confusing. That is because the common 
law rules that have developed over the 
centuries are subject to constitutional 
limitations. To determine the current law, 
one must read a state's defamation laws in 
light of various constitutional principles. 
For example, recent United States 
Supreme Court decisions have imposed 
significant limitations on the ability of 
public officials and public figures to win 
defamation actions. If a state's law is 
inconsistent with a constitutional princi- 
ple, the law is invalid. 

There are a number of defenses and priv- 
ileges in defamation law. Therefore, in some 
circumstances a person can publish an oth- 
erwise defamatory remark with impunity'. 
Why.' Because protecting a person's reputa- 
tion is not the only \'alue we cherish in a 
democratic society. When the right to pro- 
tect a reputation conflicts with a more 
important right, the defamed person may be 
denied a recover^' for the hami suffered. 

The most important privilege, from a 
filmmaker's point of view, is truth. If your 
remarks hurt someone's reputation, but 
your remarks are true, you are absolutely 
privileged. An absolute privilege cannot 
be lost through bad faith or abuse. So 
even if you maliciously defame another 
person, you will be privileged if the state- 
ment is true. Truth is an absolute privi- 
lege because our society values truth 
more than a person's reputation. 

Keep in mind that while truth is an 
absolute defense, the burden of proving 
the truth may sometimes fall on you. So if 
you make a defamatory' statement, you 
should be prepared to prove that it is 
true — which may not be an easy task. 

Journalists are protected by the fair 



comment and criticism privilege, which 
applies to communications about a news- 
worthy person or event. Conditional priv- 
ileges may be lost through bad faith or 
abuse. This privilege has been largely super- 
seded, however, by a constitutional privi- 
lege applied in the context of statements 
about public officials or public figures. 

Public figures, such as celebrities or 
senators, have a much higher burden to 
meet to prevail in a defamation action. 
They must prove that the defendant 
acted with "actual malice." Actual malice 
is a term of art meaning that the defen- 
dant intentionally defamed another or 
acted with reckless disregard of the truth. 

Plaintiffs often find it difficult to prove 
this. That is why so few celebrities sue the 
National Enquirer. 

Invasion of privacy: Like defamation, 
the right of privacy is subject to constitu- 
tional restrictions. The news media, for 
example, is not liable for newsworthy 
statements that portray another in a false 
light unless the statements are made with 
actual malice. Unlike defamation, a cause 
of action for invasion of privacy does not 
require an injury' to one's reputation. 

Many defenses to defamation also apply 
to invasion of privacy. (Truth, however, is 
not a defense.) Revealing matters of pub- 
lic record cannot be the basis for an inva- 
sion of pri\'acy acDon. Express and implied 
consent are \'alid defenses. If you voluntar- 
ily reveal private facts to others you can- 
not recover for invasion of your privacy. 

Privacy actions topically fall into four 
factual patterns: the intrusion into one's 
private affairs, which includes wiretap- 
ping, unreasonable surveillance and other 
acts that are highly offensive; the public 
disclosure of embarrassing private facts, 
ones of a kind that would be highly offen- 
sive to a reasonable person, if the matter 
is not of legitimate concern to the public; 
appropriation of another's name or like- 
ness; publicity' that places a plaintiff in a 
false light (unlike defamation, harm to 
reputation is not required), such as plac- 
ing the name of a prominent Republican 
on a list of Democratic contributors. 

Failing to Respect the Right of 
Publicity: The right of publicin' is the 
right of individuals to control the use of 
their name and likeness in a commercial 

setting. You cannot put a picture of anoth- 
er person on your brand of pickles without 



44THE INDEPENDENT March 2002 



their permission. The right of publicity is 
typically exploited by celebrities who earn 
large fees by endorsing products. 

Under either a publicity or privacy the- 
ory, subjects can recover for some unau- 
thorized uses of their names and likeness- 
es. A problem arises, however, when one 
person's publicity/privacy rights come in 
conflict with another person's rights under 
the First Amendment. Suppose a newspa- 
per pubUsher wants to place a picture of 
Cher on the front page of its paper. Is her 
permission needed? The answer is no. 

Although Cher's name and likeness is 
portrayed in the newspaper, this "product" 
is also a form of "protected expression." 
Products such as books, movies and plays 
are modes of expression protected by the 
First Amendment. The First Amendment 
also allows journalists to write about oth- 
ers without their consent. Otherwise, sub- 
jects could prevent any critical reporting 
of their activities. When one person's 
right of publicity conflicts with another 
person's rights under the First 
Amendment, the First Amendment rights 
are often, but not always, paramount. 

When the likeness of Elvis Presley is 
used on an ashtray, however, there is no 
expression deserving protection. The sell- 
er of this product is not making a state- 
ment or expressing an opinion. He is sim- 
ply trying to make money by exploiting 
the name and likeness of Elvis. Since 
there are no competing First Amendment 
concerns, the right of publicity in this 
instance should prevent the unauthorized 
use of Elvis's likeness. In summary, the law 
draws a distinction between products that 
contain protected expression and those 
that do not. 

Courts have struggled with the issue of 
whether the right of publicity descends to 
a person's heirs. In other words, when a 
celebrity dies, does his estate inherit his 
right of publicity? Can the estate continue 
to control the use of the celebrity's name 
or likeness, or can anyone use it without 
permission? 

Some courts have held that the right of 
publicity is a personal right that does not 
descend. These courts consider the right 
similar to the right of privacy and the 
right to protect one's reputation (defama- 
tion). When a person dies, heirs don't 
inherit these rights. Suppose, for instance, 
that you were a descendent of Abraham 
Lincoln. An unscrupulous writer publish- 



es a defamatory biography claiming Abe 
was a child molester. You couldn't sue for 
defamation or invasion of privacy. Perhaps 
this is why many scandalous biographies 
are not published until the subject dies. 

Unfair Competition: The law of unfair 
competition prevents a person, for 
instance, from establishing a movie studio 
and calling it "Paramount Pictures" if 
he/she is not affiliated with the well- 
known company. A person would also be 
barred from displaying the Paramount 
logo or using any other mark that might 
mislead or confuse consumers by leading 
them to believe that films are genuine 
Paramount movies when they are not. 

The names of persons and businesses 
may become associated in the public mind 
with a supplier of products or services. The 
name can thus acquire a secondary mean- 
ing, and the supplier can acquire trademark 
rights even if he does not register the name 
as a trademark. In Dallas Cowboys 
Cheerleaders, Inc. v. Pussycat Cinema, Ltd., 
the defendant exhibited a pornographic 
movie, Debbie Does Dallas, which portrayed 
a "Texas Cowgirl" engaged in sex acts. The 
character wears a uniform strikingly similar 
to that worn by the Dallas Cowboys 
Cheerleaders. Ads for the movie showed 
the character in the uniform and included 
such captions as "Starring ExDallas Cowgirl 
Cheerleader Bambi Woods." 

The Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders 
brought suit alleging that they had a 
trademark in the particular combination 
of colors and the design of their uniforms. 
The court agreed and issued an injunc- 
tion against further distribution of the 
film. Filmmakers should take note that if 
they portray people or products in a way 
that is likely to confuse the public as to 
the origin of a product, they may be liable 
for unfair competition. 

A basic understanding of the rights of 
individuals is especially important for inde- 
pendent producers who may not have the 
resources to investigate the finer points of 
the law. By using care when creating and 
depicting fictional characters, producers 
can greatly reduce their potential liability. 

Mark Utwak (atty@marklitwak.com) is an enter- 
tainment and multimedia attorney based in 
Beverly Hills. Utwak is the author of several books 
including Dealmaklng in the Motion Picture 
and Television Industry, and Contracts in the 
for the Film & Television Industry, 2nd Ed. 
For additional info visit www.marklitwak.com. 



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XLcellent Options! 

Field Testing a New Generation of XLl Accessories 



The stream of accessories arriving on 
the market for Canon XLl /XL Is cam- 
corders flows on. Canon is marketing a 
new manual servo zoom lens. VariZoom is 
producing a tiny remote control unit 
called the StealthZoom and as improbable 
as it seems, not one but two companies 
are manufacturing adapters to mount 
35mm motion picture lenses on this 
miniDV camcorder. 

16X Manual Servo Lens 

Canon's optional 16X Manual Servo Lens 
($1799) has a range from 5.4mm to 
86.4mm, a maximum aperture of f 1.6, and 
a filter diameter of 72mm. The lens has a 
macro capability for a close focus distance 
of 50mm when the lens is full wide and 
adjustable back focus. Two neutral densi- 
ty filters are built-in. The 16X Manual 
Servo Lens has an equivalent angle of 
view to that of a 39mm to 624mm lens for 
a 35mm still camera. The physical dimen- 
sions are a diameter of 3""'", a length of 
6""", and a weight of just over two 
pounds. This makes this lens about five 
ounces heavier and an inch longer than 
the standard 16X lens. Mounted on the 
XLl, the difference in terms of balance 
and feel is imperceptible. 

The slim servo motor, controlled with 
the camera's handle mounted rocker 
switch, has a smooth quiet action. Focus 
is manual only and relies on mechanical 
gearing. There is no image stabilization. 
The lens has somewhat more contrast 
than the standard lens but overall image 
quality is nearly identical. In use, the lens 



The StealthZoom 
Controller for all Sony 
and Canon Mini-DV 
and Hi8 Camcorders. 



f\ 



m *it0m 



»tc>«»l«»»a!Loonn 



BY Robert M. Goodman 

focused easily and maintained crisp focus 
throughout the zoom range. With the 
servo motor switched off, snap zooms 
were a breeze to do. 

The built-in neutral density filters are 
labeled 2.7 and 5 rather than in a com- 
mon format such as ND3 or ND6. After 
some research, it turns out these are the 
number of f-stops by which the light is 
reduced and translates into a ND8 and 
ND15. It's odd labeling to be sure. 

Canon sells the XLls in a variety of kit 
combinations so it's possible to buy a 
package with a manual servo zoom lens 
instead of the standard 16X zoom. The 
tradeoff is that the manual lens doesn't 
have image stabilization or auto focus but 
does offer precise manual focus and a 
back focus adjustment. If you need to do 
snap zooms, rack focuses or simply can't 
make the adjustment to concentric focus- 
ing, then this lens is the better choice. If 
you must keep fast moving subjects in 
focus, do a lot of moving shots, and have 
learned the rack focus workaround for 
concentric focus lenses, then the 16X IS II 
standard lens ($1699) is the better choice. 

StealthZoom Remote 

The StealthZoom ($229) from VariZoom 

(www.varizoom.com) is a tiny new remote 

control for any LANC capable camcorder 

which we tested on a Canon XLl. The 

remote has a camcorder wake-up button 

labeled "on" and a red LED light. A tiny 

"r" button triggers record and stop. A slim 

curved rocker switch controls toe us 

whenever the camcorder is in its manual 

focus setting. A relatively large — three 

eights of an inch — brass handle in the 

middle of this 1.75" x 2" anodized black 

metal unit provides a pressure sensitive 

zoom control. Two screws and a plate 

allow users to mount this little box on a 

pan handle. The LANC cable is just over 

three feet long which should be sufficient 

in most situations. 

The reason to purchase a remote is to 
he able control the zoom and focus with- 



out having to have your hands near the 
lens. In this regard, the StealthZoom per- 
formed admirably. It's small and light and 
handy. After a few minutes of practice, 
the zoom speed was easy to control. What 
you don't get with this "prosumer" version 
is a way of setting a repeatable zoom 
speed, a feature that is available on 
VariZoom's professional lens controllers. 

Lens Adaptors 

Optex's PL lens adapter ($495) 
(www.optex.com) for mounting 35mm 
motion picture prime lenses on an XLl has 
no optics; it's a simple mechanical device. 




Detail of the P&S Technik mini Digital 35 adaptor. 



As a consequence, a multiplier of 7.2 
applies to depth of field and field of view 
o{ the lenses. Put simply, a 25mm wide 
angle lens on a motion picture camera 
becomes a 180mm lens with seven times 
the depth of field. We tested the Optex 
adapter with a wide range ot prime and 
zoom lenses from Camera Service 
Center's extensive rental stock in New 
York Cit\-. Evaluating the ft)otage on a stu- 
dio monitor, we noticed subtle differences 
in color reproduction and a slight increase 
in resolution. Unless you have ready 
access to PL mount lenses, there isn't 
much to be gained. However, it does look 
really cool to see a PL lens on an XLl. We 
attracted enormous attention at Camera 
Service Center with this setup especially 
from the Arri technicians. 

P&S Technik's miniDigital 35 unit 
(www.pstechnik.de) is an entirely differ- 
ent stOT)'. This device maintains the origi- 
nal field of \-iew and depth ot field ot the 
35mm lenses mounted on it. Light passing 
through the lens is coUimated on a spin- 
ning ground glass. The ground glass image 
passes through a series of lenses to trans- 



46 THE INDEPENDENT March 2002 



mit the image in the proper field size for 
the CCDs. There are two aperture adjust- 
ments — one on the motion picture lens 
and another on the adapter's lens assem- 
bly. The adapter's aperture is between the 
ground glass and the CCDs. There are 
two speed settings for the spinning mech- 
anism so users can prevent the grain of 
the ground glass from being recorded at 
any T-stop. 

The miniDigital 35mm unit is $7325. 
To that, add the cost of an adapter to 
mount the 35mm motion picture or still 
lenses of your choice. Mounts for 35mm 
motion picture lenses with Arri PL ($175) 
or Panavision ($180) style bayonet sys- 
tems are available. For still lenses, there 
are Nikon ($330), Leica ($220), or Zeiss 
Contax ($210) adapters. 

Performance 

ZGC, (www.zgc.com) which distributes 
Optex and P&S Technik, supplied The 
Independent with a Cooke S4 25mm T2.0 
lens for our test of the miniDigital 35 
adapter. PL mount lenses are heavier than 
Canon's standard lenses so P&S Technik's 
lightweight support accessory ($225) is a 
necessity for additional reinforcement. 
The adapter weighs three pounds and the 
Cooke 25mm lens adds another three and 
a half pounds. A complete rig including 
the XLl, matte box, and follow focus unit 
would weigh over eleven pounds. 

It took us about ten minutes to put the 
adapter on the XLl the first time. The 
adapter's lens assembly, which fits into the 
Canon XLl, must be unscrewed before 
connecting it to the camera. The adapter 
is easier to install if the tripod plate and 
rails are removed though it's not absolute- 
ly necessary. A thumb screw attaches the 
movable bottom plate to the XLl's tripod 
mounting plate. Once the adapter has 
been attached, the lens assembly can 
screwed back on. It's more difficult to 
describe than to do. This adapter is beauti- 
fully machined to exacting standards. With 
practice, we removed it and put it back on 
in under six minutes. However, it's not 
something we'd want to do outdoors if 
conditions were the least bit adverse. 

The adapter's PL mount was smooth 
and locked securely. The standard 19mm 
mounting rails will hold a follow focus 
mechanism and a matte box. A P&S 
adapter was available only on short notice 



so we didn't have a matte box and follow 
focus rig for our tests. 

Nor did we have the 
opportunity to test the 
other mounts. How well 
still camera lenses will work 
is open to question. When 
we tested a still lens 
adapter for use with 
Sony's Cinealta 
HD camera (see 
The Independent, 
April 2001), we found 
it necessary to try dozens 




of lenses to find one sharp enough. The 
XLl doesn't have the same tolerances as 
an HD camera but still lenses are designed 
for curved film surfaces and, in constrast, 
camcorder CCDs are perfectly flat. 

However, the proof is in the perfor- 
mance and the P&S Technik adapter 
sailed through with flying colors. The 
footage we shot had color, contrast, and 
depth of field characteristics normally 
associated with film. The resolution was 
markedly better. Motion picture lens have 
several advantages: the focus and aper- 
ture marks are well spaced and clearly 
marked; and focusing is precise. 

There were issues. When the Cooke 
lens was stopped down beyond T4.5, the 
image was brighter in the center than at 
the edges on the ground glass. To control 
exposure during our tests, we relied on the 
adapter's aperture and the XLl's shutter. 
Ordinarily, we would use neutral density 
filters but we didn't have a matte box. 
ZGC stated that aperture vignetting has- 
n't been a problem with other lenses. 

To confirm this, The Independent talked 
to Jonathan Appel, an indie filmmaker, 
who shoots improvisational comedy seg- 
ments for television. He sold his Sony 
DSR-500 and replaced it with a PAL 
Canon XLl. Appel outfitted the XLl with 
Canon's B&W viewfinder, the P&S 
Technik adapter, and a Cooke S2000 28- 



.'•. 



"5 
I. 



P&S Technik mini Digital 
35 adaptor is used to 
mount a zoom lens on 
a Canon XLl. 



70mm zoom. He plans to shoot everything 
in frame mode. We spoke to Appel imme- 
diately after he completed his first shoot. 
"I'm really excited. The footage has the 
indefinable quality I was seeking. It does- 
n't look anything like video. It's some- 
thing else entirely." 

From our tests, I would concur. The 
footage has a different feel even when 
shot in the normal interlaced mode. 
Hollywood rental houses, which have 
been among the earliest purchasers, 
report this adapter is one of the hottest 
items in their inventories. P&S Technik is 
supposedly working on a version for Sony 
miniDV camcorders, though image quali- 
ty is likely to suffer because those cam- 
corder have fixed lenses. 

All of this demonstrates that it's time 
for camera and lens manufacturers to re- 
evaluate their approach to lens design. 
MiniDV or HD will never have grain. 
However, there's no reason why some- 
thing can't be done about the depth of 
field characteristics that are one of the 
hallmarks of motion picture photography. 



Robert Goodman (wd24p@hotmailcom) is an 
award-winning writer /director based in 

Philadelphia, and author of the camera and lens 
chapters of the ASC's Video Manual. 



March 2002 THE INDEPENDENT 47 



G^^^^ 



E) 



Opting for the Optimum OS 

How do Macintosh and PC platforms compare? 



Filmmakers interested in digital film- 
making regularly ask experts at festivals 
and conferences what type of computer 
they should use for postproduction. 
Although there are several options, the 
two practical choices for people creating 
digital video with a desktop computer are 
Windows-based PCs and Macintosh com- 
puters. A popular mythology has devel- 
oped around these two types of comput- 
ers concerning what each is good for and 
who should use what type of system. 
However, popular assumptions about 
Macs and PCs don't reflect the current 
state of technology and only work against 
artists who need to pick out the comput- 
er system that will be most effective for 
their work. 

Above all others, one myth pervades 
nearly every conversation concerning the 
merits of Macs and PCs for creative pro- 
fessionals. The myth is that a Mac is 
inherently better than a Windows PC for 
anything concerning the creation or 
manipulation of graphics. The idea that 
Macs are better computers for creative 
people is not unfounded. Just a few years 
ago, Macs were arguably the only real 
choice for people who wanted to create 
illustrations, retouch photos, edit video, 



For those going the Mac/Final Cut Pro route, 
some exciting news was announced shortly 
before press time. Version 3 of Final Cut Pro is 
now available with a number of enhancements 
that solidify its position as the dominant desk- 
top video editing software fort the Mac. Apple 
has added or modified many things in Final 
Cut Pro 3, but the major news is about two 
features in particular: that Final Cut Pro 3 can 
operate in Apple's new Mac OS X and that it 
can create real-time previews of effects on 
certain G4 based computers. Final Cut Pro 3 
is $999 or $299 if you are upgrading from a 
previous version. 



BY Greg Gilpatrick 

or design and publish magazines with a 
desktop computer. Macs took an early 
lead among desktop computer applica- 
tions for creative pursuits with a more 
intuitive user interface than other operat- 
ing systems and support of advanced 
printing, sound, graphics, and video capa- 
bilities through its integration of tech- 
nologies like PostScript and QuickTime. 
While there may have been better tech- 
nology for creative tasks 15 years ago, 
such as the now-defunct Amiga, Apple's 
market penetration and advertising skills 
made the Mac the common desktop com- 
puter with the capabilities for technically 
intensive creative work. 

In the past few years Microsoft's 
Windows operating system has caught up 
and even surpassed the Mac in the tech- 
nical areas that made Mac the choice for 
digital media artists in the first place. In 
terms of user interface design, Windows 
has improved to the point where, for some 
people, it may even be more intuitive to 
use than a Mac. If someone comes from a 
background using PCs, a Mac may not be 
easy for them to use at all. Some people 
still swear up and down that the Mac 
interface is better than a PC's, but the 
truth is that they are both about the same 
in terms of how intuitive they are to use. 

Contributing to the assumption that 
Macs are better for creative tasks is that 
many of the most important applications 
for digital media production were original- 
ly only available for Macs. Photoshop, 
Quark Xpress, After Effects, A\'id Media 
Composer, and Pro Tools were just a few 
oi the applications that started life as 
Mac-only programs. People interested in 
creating media with computers probably 
came into contact with a Mac somewhere 
along the way and realized that, at the 
time, the Mac was the best choice for 
their creative work. Many of those people 
have not changed their opinion and still 
regard the Mac as the only computer that 
could he considered an artist's tool. 

But today a major Mac-only application 
is as rare as a Hollywood film shot on 



Super 8 film. Not only have nearly all the 
early Mac-only creative applications been 
released for Windows but some major cre- 
ative applications work only on 
Windows — especially in the area of 3D ani- 
mation. A number of creative applications 
are available only for PCs — even video 
editing programs like Avid Symphony, 
Avid Xpress DV, and Discreet Edit. 

While many of the reasons that Macs 
are the choice for creative work are now 
ancient history, practical reasons still exist 
why a digital filmmaker would choose a 
Mac over a Windows PC for their work. 
Steve Jobs, Apple Computer's CEO, once 
said that Apple was the only computer 
company that still made the "whole wid- 
get," meaning that Apple is the only com- 
pany that makes both the operating sys- 
tem software and the computer hardware. 
With a PC, the operating system software 
is designed by Microsoft but the hardware 
is built by one of a myriad of computer 
manufacturers. The PC method t^'pically 
provides a less costly product but it also 
introduces complexities in the setup and 
operation of the computer that Macs typ- 
ically don't have. Apple's t>pe of comput- 
er manufacturing is advantageous for cre- 
ati\e professionals since it brings closer 
integration between the operating system 
and the computer hardware so that when 
engineers at Apple have a new idea for 
their computers, it is implemented at 
both the hardware and software level by 
the same company instead of by different 
companies with different objectives. 

The drawback to Apple's method is 
that they are typically slower at adopting 
the latest technology-. PCs take advantage 
of the latest advances in memory, graph- 
ics cards, and other components of the 
computer. So, while a Mac is more thor- 
oughly tested and integrated for a 
smoother user experience, a PC usually 
has slightly newer technology at margin- 
ally lower prices. 

Opening a Mac and putting it together 
for the first time is hardly as time con- 
suming and confusing as setting up a 
Windows based PC. Day-to-day opera- 
tion ot a Windows system is usually just as 
trouble free and intuitive as a Mac but a 
Mac still has the PC beat during any 
activity' that falls outside the everv'day. 
When setting up the computer for the 
first time, installing a new operating sys- 



48 THE INDEPENDENT March 2002 



tern, adding a new peripheral, or installing 
a new application a Mac consistently 
provides an experience that is quicker 
and easier than its Windows-based coun- 
terpart. Since digital video editing 
requires the use of several additional 



computers in the business community. 
Most people who work in an office use a 
computer running Windows and they 
grow accustomed to it. 

Especially for filmmakers, the idea that 
Macs are a disadvantage for business does- 




pieces of hardware and software, a Mac 
has an advantage since it will probably 
operate more smoothly than its Windows 
counterpart. 

Another prominent reason why Macs 
are still prevalent in the area of video 
postproduction is Final Cut Pro. Final Cut 
Pro is made by Apple specifically for 
Macs, cutting off PC users from the revo- 
lutionary editing software. There are sev- 
eral comparable video editing applications 
available for PC users like Avid Xpress 
DV, Premiere, and Cinestream, but none 
of them has the community and buzz that 
Final Cut Pro has generated in the past 
few years. Apple has done well with Final 
Cut Pro, consistently adding features that 
rival software that costs several times as 
much (see sidebar on Final Cut Pro 3). 

Those who are buying a computer to 
edit video and also perform more mun- 
dane business tasks should consider that 
the corollary to the myth that Macs are 
better for creative work is the common 
belief that Windows PCs are better for 
business purposes. While many people are 
aware that creative applications like 
Photoshop and Quark Xpress were origi- 
nally available only for the Mac, most 
would be surprised to hear that major 
business oriented programs such as 
Microsoft Excel were actually created for 
the Mac before Windows was even for 
sale. Once again, the basis for the myth 
comes from the predominance of 
Microsoft's DOS and Windows-based 



n't make much sense. Filmmakers have 
several choices among screenwriting, 
script breakdown, scheduling, and budget- 
ing software to use on either Macs or 
Windows. In addition, popular business 
software like Microsoft Office, Filemaker 
Pro, Quicken, and Appleworks for the 



Mac should make it able to perform any 
business-oriented tasks you find necessary. 
Seeing how either platform should 
serve you well should make it a little easi- 
er to pick the right type of computer. 
Above all else, pick the system that you 
will feel the most comfortable with. 
If all your experience with comput- 
ers has been with PCs it would not 
make much sense for you to buy a 
Mac solely for video editing. If you 
are more comfortable using a Mac 
but are considering a PC because it 
costs a little less, remember that 
the costs of learning a new operat- 
ing system will almost certainly 
outweigh any savings from buying 
the cheaper computer. Also consid- 
er what any friends or colleagues 
are using, because being able to 
approach them for advice instead 
of an expensive consultant or training 
course could save you more than the cost 
of the computer itself 

Greg Gilpatrick is an independent producer and 

director and technology consultant based in NYC. 

His email address is greg@randomroom.com. 



Jennifer Boyd Productions 

Producer-Director-Writer 

Documentary and Multimedia 
Productions Worldwide 

860-233-5870 

jennifer-boyd@attbi.com 




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THEATRICAL 

Thirteen Conversations About 
One Thing, dir. Jill Sprecher 
(Sony Pictures Classics, March 1) 
With its crisscross narration and empha- 
sis on fate Thirteen Conversations uses the 
powerful performances of its cast to figure 
out the question: what is happiness? The 
film shifts the viewer from the present to 
the past and back again, showing how the 
characters' lives have been changed after 
meeting one another. Alan Arkin gives a 
solid performance as a grumpy sales man- 
ager with family problems. 

Trouble Every Day, 
dir. Claire Denis 
(Lot 47, March 1) 
After getting the dreaded 
NC-17 rating on their last 
film L.I.E, Lot 47 has 
pushed the envelope again 
with this highly graphic sus- 
pense/horror story. Flying to 
Paris, June (Tricia Vessey) 
and Shane (Vincent Gallo) 
look like any other couple 
on their honeymoon. What 
June doesn't know is that her hancee has 
a hunger for unusual lovemaking that 
sends him into madness. Toward the end 
of the film he finally finds what he's been 
in search of and is changed, but for better 
or worse? Denis gives the viewer a horror 
story that at times may be confusing with 
its low amount ot dialogue but impossible 
to forget. 

Kissing Jessica Stein, 

dir. Charles Herman-Wurmfeld 
(Fox Searchlight, March 15) 
Marking the feature directorial debut for 
Herman-Wurmfeld is this romantic com- 
edy about a woman trying to ftnd love in 
the big city of New York. The idea was 
originally created by Heather Juergensen 
and Jennifer Westfeldt (who along with 
having the lead roles also wrote and 
coproduced the film) while they attended 
a summer theater lab. The film follows 




Jennifer Westfeldt as 
Jessica Stein. 



the sensitive but neurotic journalist 
Jessica Stein (Westfeldt) through the dat- 
ing scene and answering a "women seek- 
ing women" personal ad on a whim. There 
she finds that she and her date (played by 
Juergensen) actually click, and that's 
when the fun starts. 

TELEVISION 

M.isunderstood Minds, dir. Michael Kirk 

(PBS, March 27) 

This heartfelt documentary follows five 

children who go through life as millions of 
other children do, struggling with 
difficulties in learning. Viewers can 
learn more about this issue and 
interact with others by logging on 
to www.pbs.org/misunderstood- 
minds. Parents, teachers, and stu- 
dents can address questions and 
research specific learning problems. 

Bringing Down a Dictator, 
dir. Steve York (PBS, March 31) 
For 10 years Slobodan Milosevic 
ruled the former Yugoslavia with an 
iron fist. Three devastating wars 
and the NATO bombing campaign of 
1999 proved futile in dislodging him from 
power. Clearly, another method was need- 
ed. Bringing Down a Dictator records 
Milosevic's striking defeat in October 
2000, not by guns, but rather by a strate- 
gy of nonviolent civil disobedience initiat- 
ed by the student movement, Otpor! 
("resistance" in Serbian). Dressed in their 
regulation black T-shirts featuring a 
clenched fist, Otpor! members fanned out 
into the countr^'side — where public dis- 
content was widespread — seeking recruits 
for their cause: the removal of Milosevic 
and free elections. 

Within a year, the students had suc- 
ceeded in shaping a united political oppo- 
sition, leading to a mass strike and the 
seizure on October 5 of the parUament. 
The documentar>' contains several inter- 
views, including one with Vojislav 
Kostunica, the new president of Serbia. 



50 THE INDEPENDENT March 2002 






i-Z-i. 



D 



BY Bo Mehrad 

LISTINGS DO NOT CONSTITUTE AN ENDORSEMENT 
WE RECOMMEND THAT YOU CONTACT THE FESTIVAL 
DIRECTLY BEFORE SENDING CASSEHES, AS DETAILS 
MAY CHANGE AFTER THE MAGAZINE GOES TO PRESS. 
DEADLINE: 1ST OF THE MONTH TWO MONTHS PRIOR 
TO COVER DATE (APRIL 1 FOR JUNE ISSUE). INCLUDE 
FESTIVAL DATES, CATEGORIES, PRIZES, ENTRY FEES, 
DEADLINES, FORMATS & CONTACT INFO. SEND TO: 
FESTIVALS@AIVFORG 



Domestic 

adam baran honolulu gay & lesbian film 

FESTIVAL, May 30 - June 2. Deadline: March 31. The 
Fest was started in the memory of videomaker Adam 
Baran, who died of AIDS. The annual event takes place 
over four days in Honolulu, Hawaii. Founded: 1989. 
Cats: feature, doc, short, animation. Awards: Phred Love 
Award, Adam Baran Award, Audience Choice Award; 
Jury Award. Formats: 35mm, 16mm, S-VHS. VHS. Entry 
Fee: $15 shorts; $25 Features. Contact: Festival, 1877 
Kalakaua Avenue, Honolulu, HI 96815; (808) 
941-0424x18; fax: (808) 943-1724 



ASIAN AMERICAN INT'L FILM FESTIVAL, July 
19-28, NY Deadline: March 1 (early); April 1 
(late). Founded by the Asian CineVision in 
1978, the fest is the oldest fest in the U.S. 
showcasing works by film & video makers of 
Asian decent. Founded: 1978. Cats: feature, 
doc, short, animation, experimental. Formats: 
35mm, 16mm, Beta SR 1/2". Preview on VHS. 
Entry Fee: $10-$25 (early); $20-$35 (late). Entry fee 
depends on membership & length of work- see website. 
Contact: Risa Mormito, Festival Director, Asian 
CineVision, 133 W. 19th Street, 3rd Fir, New York, NY 
10011; 212-989-1422; fax: 727-3584; 
info@asiancinevision.org; www.asiancinevision.org 

AKA SHRIEKFEST FILM FESTIVAL, Oct. 12, CA. 
Deadline: March 22 (early); Aug. 9 (reg); Sept. 6 (late). 
Shriekfest, the annual Los Angeles Horror Film Festival is 
held at Raleigh Studios in Hollywood. The fest focuses on 
the horrar film genre & the work of young filmmakers (18 
& under). The fest "screens the best independent horror 
films of the year." Cats: feature, doc (about the horror 
genre), short, script. Awards: Best Young Filmmaker; 
Best Film; Fan Favorite; Scariest Film; Best Screenplay; 
Best Make-up; Best FX. Entry Fee: Early: $25(shorts), 
$35 (features); Reg: $35 (shorts), $45 (features); Late: 
$45 (shorts), $55 (features). Contact: Shriekfest Film 
Festival, PC Box 920444, Sylmar, CA 91392; 
email@shriekfest.com; www.shriekfest.com 

CINESOL LATINO FILM FESTIVAL, June 14- July 14, 7X. 
Deadline: March 15. Fest showcases the best of Latino 
Film & Video in a traveling four week fest that literally 
makes its way through South Texas. Held in the Magic 
Rio Grande Valley of Texas, CineSol begins w/ a Premiere 
Weekend Splash on beautiful South Padre Island on the 
Gulf of Mexico, where filmmakers converge & interact w/ 
the audience. Cats: feature, doc, short, animation, 
experimental. Formats: 35mm, 16mm, DV Beta. Entry 
Fee: $20; $10 (Student). Contact: CineSol C/0 Galan 



Inc., 5524 Bee Caves Rd. Ste B-5, Austin, TX 78746; 
(512) 327-1333 ext.lO; fax: (512) 327-1547; 
info@cinesol.com; www.cinesol.com 

CRESTED BUTTE REEL FEST, August 14-18, CO. 
Deadline: Regular: March 22; Student: May 10. 
Competitive Festival is a competitive short film fest 
focusing on films under 40 min. & doc films under 60 
min.. The Festival is particularly interested in new works 
which are interpreted creatively, that have a clarity of 
vision & are of high production quality Founded: 1998. 
Cats: short, student, doc, animation, experimental. 
Awards: Gold winners in the five regular cats receive 
$350; Silver winners, $250; student awards, $200 
(Gold) & $100 (Silver). Formats: 35mm, Beta, 16mm, 
3/4", 1/2", DVD. Preview on VHS (NTSC) or DVD. Entry 
Fee: $30 (student w/ proof of status); $35 (all other 
cats). Contact: Jessica Mervyns-Jones, Exec. Dir., Box 
1733, Crested Butte, CO 81224; (970) 349-2600; fax: 
349-1384; cbreelfest@webcom.com; www.crestedbut- 
tereelfest.com 

DEADCENTER FILM FESTIVAL, June 7-8, OK. Deadline: 

April 1. Fest is Oklahoma's premier Festival. Festival is 

an opportunity for filmakers in the Oklahoma, South 

Central & all parts of 

the United States to 

show their films to 



16mm, 1/2", S-VHS, Beta, Beta SR DigiBeta, HD. 
Preview on VHS. Entry Fee: $20 (short); $35 (features). 
Contact: Matthew Curtis, Program Dir., 1300 S. Odando 
Ave., Maitland, FL 32571; (407) 629-1088; fax: 629- 
6870; filmfest@enzian.org; www.enzian.org 

INT'L ELECTRONIC CINEMA FESTIVAL, May 15-19, OR. 
Deadline: March 16. The oldest & most presitigious 
forum for recognizing outstanding achievements in high 
definition production. The Int'l Electronic Cinema 
Festival provides a forum to promote & explore the cre- 
ative synergy between cinema & television, afforded by 
the use of digital high definition television & computer 
imagery, & it extends its scope to new forms of expres- 
sion such as interactive digital programs. It aims also to 
provide a venue & opportunity to negotiate int'l co-pro- 
ductions that use those advanced program production 
technologies. Programs must have been produced in Hi- 
Def & been completed as of 1998. Founded: 1987. Cats: 
TV, music video, feature, doc, short, experimental, com- 
mercial ads, industrials, sports. Formats: hi def. Preview 
on VHS. Contact: c/o DownStream, 1650 Naito Parkway, 
Portland, OR 97209; (503) 697-4901; fax: (503) 697- 
7231; info@iecf.org; www.iecf.org 

L.A. FREEWAVES, November, CA. Deadline: March 15. 
Annual celebration of independent video & new media 
seeks Throughout the city of Los Angeles & beyond at 



/ M ^^^ S^" Francisco Black Film Festival 

; 4-^^ Now in its 4th year 

The five-day festival promises a pletliora of events and 
filmmaliing wori^stiops, with premieres and screenings 
showcasing both global and local talent. The festival was created to promote 
and celebrate African American Cinema and the African Cultural Diaspora. 
Some of last year's highlights included films from the U.S., France, Africa, and 
Cuba. Opening night reception and dialogue with actor Billy Dee Williams {The 
Visit) and the San Francisco premiere oi Lumumba. 



the audience they deserve. Founded: 2000. Cats: short, 
feature, any style or genre, doc. Formats: 16mm, Beta, 
35mm. preview on VHS (NTSC); DVD. Entry Fee: shorts 
$20; Features $30 (under 90 min.); Features $40 (over 
90 min.); Youth Films $5 (under 30 min.). Contact: Jayson 
Floyd, PO Box 850368, Yukon, OK 73085; (405)324- 
5305; www.deadcenterfilm.up.to; djfloyd@cpn-net.com 

FLORIDA FILM FESTIVAL, June 6-17, FL. Deadline: Feb. 
22 (early); March 22 (late). 10-day event features for- 
eign & U.S. indie films (narrative, doc, animation), sem- 
inars, midnight movies, Florida student competition, cel- 
ebrations & special guests. Entries for American compe- 
tition must have at least 51% U.S. funding. Features 
must be 41 min. or more. Festival also sponsors sever- 
al curated sidebars, special events, panels & receptions. 
Founded: 1992. Cats: feature, short, doc, animation. 
Awards: incl. Special Jury Awards, Audience Awards, 
Forever Florida Award, Perrier Bubbling Under Award & 
Grand Jury Awards (incl. $100,000 goods & services 
package for Best Narrative Feature). Formats: 35mm, 



sites incl. www,museums, art centers, universities, TV, 
galleries, theaters, electronic billboards, cafes, clubs, 
parks, online & wherever else we can think of Media art 
works incl. video & film (experimental, narrative, doc, 
art, animation, etc.), CD-ROMs, DVDs, audio art, web 
sites, multimedia performances & installations, public 
art media projects (especially works for electronic bill- 
boards), youth media works, proposals for video bus 
tours, community media activities. Founded: 1993. 
Cats: Feature, Doc, Experimental, Animation. Formats: 
Digital, 3/4", 1/2", Beta SR Web, CD-ROM. Preview on 
VHS. Entry Fee: $10. Contact: Festival, 2151 Lake Shore 
Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90039; (323) 664-1510; fax: 664- 
1577; anne@freewaves.com; www.freewaves.org 

LAKE ARROWHEAD FILM FESTIVAL, May 2-5, CA. 
Deadline: March 17. Lake Arrowhead is also known as 
Hollywood's original playground. Also, the area incis, a 
beautiful four screen theater, the Blue Jay Cinema, & 
many other possible screening sites, also a first class 
resort. Being only 90 min. from LA is a great asset for 



March 2002 THE INDEPENDENT 51 






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workshops as well as increase the attendance of Film 
Makers, Studio Executives & Distributors. Cats; Feature, 
Animation, Doc, Short. Awards: Awards will be given in 
each category. Formats: 35mm, 16mm, Beta, 1/2", 
8mm. Preview on VHS. Contact: Leonard Marcel, 16630 
Center Way, Guerneville, CA 95446; (707) 869-8264; 
filmfest@pe.net; www.arrowheadfilmfest.com 

LOS ANGELES FILM FESTIVAL, June 21-29, CA. 
Deadline: March 22. The IFP/West Los Angeles Film 
Festival showcases the best of American & int'l inde- 
pendent cinema. Playing to huge crowds, the test 
screens over 50 features & 40 shorts. LAFF has evolved 
into a world class event, uniting emerging filmmakers w/ 
critics, scholars, film masters, & the movie-loving pub- 
lic. Founded: 1995. Cats: Feature, Doc, Short, 
Animation, Music Video, Student. Formats: 16mm, 
35mm, DigiBeta. Preview on VHS. Entry Fee: $75 (fea- 
tures, 50 min. & over); $35 (shorts, under 50 mm.). 
Contact: Richard Raddon, Festival Director, c/o IFP West, 
8750 Wilshire Blvd. 2nd Floor, Los Angeles, CA, USA 
90211; (323) 951-7090 ; fax: (310) 432-1203; lafilm- 
fest@ifpwest.org; www.lafilmfest.com 

MAINE INT'L FILM FESTIVAL, July 12-21, ME. Deadline: 
March 15 (early); April 30 (final). A leading New England 
regional film test w/ an exceptional emphasis on int'l 
productions. Festival seeks features & shorts "shot in 
Maine or w/ a significant Maine focus." The Festival also 
awards annual Lifetime Achievement Awards to high 
profile industry mebmers, incl. Sissy Spacek, & Terrence 
Malick. Founded: 1998. Cats: Feature, Short, doc. 
Awards: Audience Award (Best Feature). Formats: 
35mm, 3/4", Beta SR 16mm, S-VHS, 1/2". Beta, 
DigiBeta, DVD. Preview on VHS. Entry Fee: $30 (early); 
$40 (final). Entry form avail, on web site. Contact: 
Festival, 10 Railroad Sq., Waterville. ME 04901; (207) 
861-8138; fax: 872-5502; info@miff.org; wwwmiff.org 

NANTUCKET FILM FESTIVAL, June 20-23, MA. Deadline: 
April 13 (film); March 16 (screenplay competition). Fest 
focuses on screenwriters & their craft, presents feature 
films, short films, docs, staged readings. Q&A w/ film- 
makers, panel discussions & the Morning Coffee With... 
series. Writers are encouraged to present their films & 
works-in-progress & get feedback from other screen- 
writers & filmmakers. Entry must not have had commer- 
cial distribution or U.S. broadcast. CatS: any style or 
genre. Awards: Tony Cox Award for Screenwriting 
Competition, Best Writer/Director Award, Audience 
Awards for Best Feature & Short Film. Formats: 35mm, 
16mm, Video. Preview on VHS. Entry Fee: $40 (features); 
$25 (shorts, 35 min. or less); $15 (5 min or less). 
Contact: Jill Goode, Artistic Director, 1633 Broadway, 
Ste. 14-334, New York, NY 10019; (212) 708-1278; ack- 
fest@aol.com; www.nantucketfilmfest.org 

NEW JERSEY INT'L FILM FESTIVAL, June & July, NJ. 
Deadline: April 5. Annual fest showcases the best in 
independent film & video, featuring premiere screenings 
of award-winning works, seminars, panels discussions 
& guest appearances. Max. film age is 24 months, no 
repeat entries. Founded: 1996. Cats: animation, short, 
experimental, feature, doc, any style or genre, children, 
family, youth media, student, music video. Awards: 
$3000 in cash & prizes. Formats: 16mm, 35mm, 3/4", 
Beta SR Hi8, 1/2", S-VHS, DV Preview on VHS. Entry Fee: 
$35 -$65. Contact: Rutgers Film Co-op/NJMAC, 72 



Lipman Drive, New Brunswick, NJ 08901; (732) 932- 
8482; fax: 932-1935; njmac@aol.com; www.njfilm- 
fest.com 

NEW YORK INT'L LATINO FILM FESTIVAL, June 26-30, 
NY Deadline: March 1 (early); March 15 (Final). Fest is 
the first in NYC to showcase the works of nat'l Latino 
filmmakers alongside int'l Latin American films, while 
offering expansive images of the Latino experience. The 
fest will present works w/ an urban edge in the cats of 
Feature Film (in Spanish & English) & Vanguard Cinema. 
Contact Festival deadline extension. Founded: 2000. 
Cats: Feature, Doc, Short, Student. Formats: 35mm, 
16mm, Video. Preview on VHS. Entry Fee: $20. Contact: 
Festival, PO Box 1041 , New York, NY 10023; 646-638- 
1493; fax: 727-0549; info@NYLatinoFilm.com; 
www.NYLatinoFilm.com 

NOMAD VIDEOFILM FESTIVAL, June tour, WA, OR, CA. 

Deadline: March 15. Berkeley-based fest has been a 
Pacific Coast touring venue for alternative media since 
1992, w/ stops in Port Townsend WA, Seattle, Portland, 
San Fran., Santa Monica & others. Fest seeks short 
video/films (15 min. max, any category) expressing 
audacity & strong visions. No theme this year; short docs 
& animation encouraged. Founded: 1991. Cats: short, 
doc, animation. Awards: No cash prizes, selected entries 
receive written audience responses. Works can originate 
in any video, film &/or media format. Formats: DV 
Preview on VHS. Entry Fee: $15 (no fee for infl entries). 
Contact: Antero Alli c/o NVF Box 7518, Berkeley, CA 
94707; (510) 464-4640; anteros@speakeasy.net; 
www.verticalpool. com/nomad. html 

OUTFEST: THE LOS ANGELES GAY & LESBIAN FILM 
FESTIVAL, July 11-22, CA. Deadline: Jan. 31 (early); 
March 29(late). The mission of OUTFEST is to build 
bridges among audiences, filmmakers & the entertain- 
ment industry through the exhibition of high-quality gay, 
lesbian, bisexual & transgender themed films & videos, 
highlighted by an annual fest, that enlighten, educate & 
entertain the diverse communities of Southern 
California. Outfest also offers a weekly screening series 
yr. round, as well as a screenwriting competition. 
Founded: 1982. Cats: Feature. Doc. Short, Gay/Lesbian. 
Animation, Experimental. Awards: Fourteen awards 
ranging from $500 to $2,000. Formats: 35mm, 16mm, 
3/4", 1/2". Preview on VHS. Entry Fee: Features (over 60 
min.): $20 by Jan. 31; $25 by Mar29. ShortS: $10 by 
Jan. 31; $15 by Mar.29. Contact: Festival, 1125 
McCadden Place, Ste. 235, Los Angeles, CA 90038; 
(323) 960-9200; fax: (323) 960 2397; outfest@out- 
fest.org: www.outfest.org 

PHILADELPHIA INT'L FILM FESTIVAL, June 30-July 2. 
PA. Deadline: April 1. The 25th annual film fest & mar- 
ketplace takes place in center city Philadelphia. The 
theme in 2002 is "The Independents' Quarter Century." 
Founded: 1976. Cats: TV series, super 8mm, music 
video. Awards: Gold, Silver, Honorable Mention, Best 
Cinematography (Trophies, Cash, Certificates). Formats: 
35mm, 16mm, S-8, VHS. 3/4", 1/2", Beta SP Preview on 
VHS, Entry Fee: $25 (super 8, student); $50 (all films 84 
min. & under); $100 (all films 85 min. & over). Contact: 
Int'l Assoc, of Motion Picture & TV Producers, 2623 
Sorrento Dr., Suite A, Philadelphia, PA 19131; (215) 
879-8209; fax: (215) 879-3026; lsmallwood@phi- 
lafilm.org; www.philafilm.org 



52 THE INDEPENDENT March 2002 



SAN FRANCISCO BLACK FILM FESTIVAL, June 12-16, 
CA. Deadline: March 22 (Films/shorts); March 29, 
(Screenplays). The San Francisco Black Film Festival 
offers an array of cutting edge films & videos from the 
most recent cinematic works from emerging & estab- 
lished filmmakers that highlight the beauty & complexity 
of the African & African American experience. Films must 
have been completed since January of previous yr. & one 
of the film's principals (director, writer producer) must 
be Black or of African heritage. Other activities incl. edu- 
cational seminars, panels, youth events & an awards 
ceremony. Founded: 1998. Cats: feature, short, narra- 
tive, doc, children, family, youth media, animation, 
script, music video , any style or genre. Awards: Melvin 
Van Peebles Maverick Award to overall winner; Best 
Feature, Best Short, Best Doc, Jury Award for Best 
Screenplay. Formats: 35mm, Beta. Preview on VHS. 
Entry Fee: $25 (films); $35 (screenplays). Contact: Ave 
Montague, director. Box 15490, San Francisco, CA 
94115; (877) 467-1735; (415) 346-0199; fax: 775- 
1332; sfbff@hotmail.com; www.sfbff.org 

UNIVERSITY OF NORTH ALABAMA TELEVISION & FILM 
FESTIVAL, April 18-20, AL. Deadline: Jan. 15 (regular); 
March 18 (ages 9-12). Annual Fest established by 
George Lindsey who has had a long, illustrious career on 
the Broadway stage & in television & film in New York & 
Hollywood. Fest has a special category dedicated to 
childeren ages 9-12 (the Lion Club category), plus the 
regular competition for college & high school students, 
faculty members & professionals. Only works completed 
in the previous two years are eligable. Cats: feature, 
short. Short Doc, music video, student. Awards: Cash 
prizes awarded in each category. Preview on VHS. Entry 
Fee: $50; $25 (Student); $10 (Lion Club). Contact: Lisa 
Darnell /UNA TV & Film Festival, UNA Box 5151, Florence, 
AL 35632; (256) 765-4592; filmfest@unanov.una.edu; 
www2.una.edu/univ.relations/filmfes1/festindex.htm 



Foreign 

ALGARVE INT'L FILM FESTIVAL, May 17-27, Portugal. 
Deadline: March 15. Competitive, shorts-only fest seeks 
works under 30 min. Founded: 1972. Cats: doc, anima- 
tion, fiction, short. Awards: prizes totaling $20,000. 
Formats: 35mm only, 35mm. Preview on VHS. Entry Fee: 
no entry fee. Contact: Carlos Manuel, General Dir., Box 
8091, Lisbon Codex, Portugal; Oil 351 21 851 36 15; fax: 
351 21 852 11 50; algarvefilmfest@mail.telepac.pt; 
www.algarvefilmfest.com 

CANNES INT'L FILM FESTIVAL, May 15-26, France. 
Deadline: April 1. Largest int'l film fest, attended by over 
30,000 professionnals. Films must have been made w/in 
prior 12 mo., released only in country of origin & not 
entered in other tests. Official component consists of: 1) 
In Competition, for features & shorts competing for major 
awards; 2) special Out of Competition accepts features 
ineligible for competition (e.g. by previous winners of 
Palme d'Or); 3) Un Certain Regard, noncompetitive sec- 
tion for films of int'l quality that do not qualify for 
Competition, films by new directors, etc; 4) 
Cinefondation, new competition (since '98) to present & 
promote short & medium-length fiction or animation 
films, final yr. student films or first productions that 
show artistic qualities that deserve to be encouraged. 



Film market administered separately, screens film in 
main venue & local theater. Parallel sections incl. 
Quinzaine des Realisateurs (Director's Fortnight, call the 
Independent Feature Project for guidelines & application. 
(212) 465-8200, fax: 465-8525; nahn@ifp.org.), main 
sidebar for new talent, (deadline mid April); La Semaine 
de la Critique (Int'l Critic's Week), 1st or 2nd features & 
docs chosen by French Film Critics Union (selections 
must be completed w/in 12 mos prior to fest). Awards: 
Top prizes incl. Official Competition's Palme d'Or (feature 
& short). Camera d'Or (best first film in any section) & 
Cinefondation (best final yr. student film. Formats: & 
preview:, 35mm, 16mm, VHS (NTSC, PAL, Secam), Beta 
(PAL). Entry Fee: no entry fee, screening fees may be 
incured. Contact: Cannes Int'l Film Festival, 99, boule- 
vard Malesherbes, 75008 Paris, France; Oil 33 1 45 61 
66 07; fax: 33 1 45 61 45 88; RDF@fest-cannes.fr; 
www.fest-cannes.fr; Cannes Film Market, contact: 
Jerome Paillard, 99 Blvd. Malesherbes, 75008 Paris, 
France; Oil 33 1 45 61 66 09, fax: 33 1 45 61 97 59. 
Add'l info: Quinzaine des Realisateurs, Societe des 
Realisateurs de Films, 14 rue Alexandre Parodi, 75010 
Paris, France; Oil 33 1 44 89 99 99, fax: 33 1 44 89 99 
60. Semaine Int'le de la Critique, attn: Eva Roelens, 73, 
Rue de Lourmel, 75015 Paris, France; tel: Oil 33 1 45 
75 68 27; fax: 33 1 40 59 03 99. 

COMEDIA, July 11-21, Canada. Deadline: March 31. 
Comedy feature programming as part of Just for Laughs, 
the Montreal Int'l Comedy Festival. With over 1,000 
entertainment industry professionals in attendance. Just 
for Laughs has proven to be the place to be seen in the 
world of comedy. See also Eat My Shorts for comedy 
shorts. Founded: 1999. Cats: comedy feature films: incl. 
animation, mockumentary, spoof, experimental, live 
action, & more. Awards: Best Film, Special Jury Prize, 
Audience Award. Formats: 35mm. Preview on VHS. Entry 
Fee: No entry fee. Contact: Brent Schiess, Jean Guerin, Just 
for Laughs, 2101 St-Laurent, Montreal, Quebec, Canada 
H2X 2T5; shorts@hahaha.com; www.hahaha.com 

EAT MY SHORTS, July 11-21, Canada. Deadline: March 
31. Comedy short programming as part of Just for 
Laughs, the Montreal Int'l Comedy Festival. With over 
1,000 entertainment industry professionals in atten- 
dance. Just for Laughs has proven to be the place to be 
seen in the world of comedy. See also Comedia. 
Founded: 1997. Cats: comedy short films (funny, or 
funny -l- twisted). Awards: Best Film Jury Prize. 
Formats: Beta, Beta SR Preview on VHS. Entry Fee: No 
entry fee. Contact: Brent Schiess, Jean Guerin, Just for 
Laughs, 2101 St-Laurent, Montreal, Quebec, Canada 
H2X 2T5; shorts@hahaha.com; www.hahaha.com 

FUKUOKA ASIAN FILM FESTIVAL, early July, Japan. 
Deadline: March 31. Most popular Asian film fest in 
Japan. Welcomes participation by any Asian directors, 
directors of Asian extraction, & directors of any nat'lity if 
they are working w/ Asian themes. Cats: feature, short, 
doc, animation, experimental, student, music video, any 
style or genre. Awards: non-cash prizes. Formats: 
16mm, 35mm, 1/2", 3/4", S-VHS, Beta SR DV Preview 
on VHS. Entry Fee: No Entry Fee. Contact: Shu Maeda, 
Hirako bidg., 4th fl., 2-4-31, Chuo-ku, Fukukoa, Japan 
810-0041; Oil 81 92 733-0949; fax: 81 92 733-0948; 
faff@gol.com; www2.gol.com/users/faff/english.html 



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Marcli 2002 THE INDEPENDENT 53 






HUESCA INT'L FILM FESTIVAL, June 6-15, Spain. 
Deadline: April 1. Founded in 1973, competitive show- 
case for Spanish & foreign short films has aim of "the 
dissemination of image as a contribution to the better 
knowledge & fraternity among the nations of the world." 
No thematic restrictions except no films dealing w/ 
tourism or publicity. Entries must be unawarded in other 
tests in Spain, produced in in the last 2 years & be under 
30 min. Of approx. 1000 entries received each year, 
about 200 shown. Founded: 1971. Cats: short. Awards 
"Ciudad de Huesca" Golden Danzante (6,000 euro): 
Silver Danzante (3,000 euro); Iberoamerican Contest 
Golden Danzante (6,000 euro) Award "Cache Pallero" 
(3,000 euro) Award "Jinete Iberico" of the institute de 
Estudios Altoaragoneses (3,000 euro) Award "Francisco 
Garcia De Paso" to short film that best emphasizes 
human values; Award "Casa de America" to best Latin 
American DP "Sociedad General de Autores y Editores" 
for best script (3,000 euro). Award of the Youth (3,000 
euro). Formats: 35mm, 16mm. Preview on VHS, Beta or 
DVD (NTSC). Entry Fee: No entry fee. Contact: Jose Maria 
Escriche, Director, Apartado 174, 22080 Huesca, Spain; 
Oil 34 9 74 21 25 82; fax: Oil 34 9 74 21 00 65; 
huescafest@tsai.es; www.huesca-filmfest.com 

INT'L FILM FESTIVAL INNSBRUK, May 29-June 2, 
Austria. Deadline: March 31. IFFI presents over films 
from & about Africa, South America, & Asia. Submitted 
films must be Austrian premiere, w/ no screenings any- 
where prior to May 29 of current year. Founded: 1992. 
Cats: Feature, Doc, Short, Animation. Awards: Tyrol 
Award (5,000 E); Cine Tirol Distributor's Prize (3,000 E); 
Audience Award (1,000 E); French Cultural Institute's 



Francophone Award (1,000 E). Formats: 35mm, 16mm. 
Preview on VHS PAL. Entry Fee: none. Contact: Raimund 
Obkircher, Otto Preminger Institute, Museumstrasse 31, 
Box 704, Innsbruck, Austria A-6020; Oil 43 512 57 85 
00-14; fax: Oil 43 512 57 85 00-13; ffi.cinemato- 
graph@tirolkultur.at; www.a2on.com/iffi 

MELBOURNE INT'L FILM FESTIVAL, July 18-Aug. 5, 
Australia. Deadline: April 6 . Established in 1952, the 
Melbourne Int'l Film Festival is the oldest established 
Film Festival in the Southern Hemishphere & one of 
Australia's oldest running arts events. Screened in some 
of Melbourne's most celebrated cinemas & theaters, the 
Festival comprises an eclectic mix of outstanding film- 
making from around the world. The Festival is a show- 
case for the latest developments in Australian & int'l 
filmmaking, offering audiences a wide range of features 
& shorts, encompassing fiction, documentaries, anima- 
tion & experimental films w/ a program of more than 350 
films from over 40 countries. Highlights incl. the Int'l 
Short Film Awards, spolights on filmmakers, genres & 
retros. Founded: 1952. Cats: feature, doc, short, anima- 
tion, experimental, student shorts. Formats: 35mm, 
16mm, , Beta SP DVD. Preview on VHS. Entry Fee: $40 
(Short Films Only). Contact: Tony Cronin, Program 
Chairman. 207 Johnston Street, Box 2206, Fitzroy 3065, 
Australia; Oil 61 3 417 2011; fax: 61 3 417 3804; 
miff@vicnet.net.au; www.meibournefilmfest.com.au 

PESARO FILM FESTIVAL, June 22-30, Italy. Deadline: 
March 31. Annual test's "New Cinema" program. 
Production req. Italian premiere, completion after Jan. 1 
of previous year If not English or French spoken or sub- 



Long Island 
International 
Film Expo 2002 

Seeks Submissions for July 12-18 Film Festival 




Short and Feature Length Films, all genres considered. 
If accepted, ability to screen in Beta SP, 16mm, 

35mm and VHS Video, 
i Cut off date May 13. a 

GALA AWARDS CEREMONY August 22 

For application, please email debfilm@aol.com, 

call 516-571-3168 

or visit our websites: www.LonglslandFilm.com and 

www.Co.Nassau.NY.US/film/form2002.html 

The Long Island International Film Expo is under the auspices of 

the Long Island Film/TV Foundation and 

the Nassau County Film Commission 



titled, enclose dialogue list in either language. Founded: 
1964. Cats: feature, short, doc, experimental, animation 
features, fiction, nonfiction. Formats: 35mm, 16mm, U- 
matic, Betacam. Preview on VHS. Entry Fee: no entry fee. 
Contact: Fondazione Pesaro Nuovo Cinema, Via 
Villafranca 20, Rome, 00185, Italy; 39 06 445 66 43; 49 
11 56; fax: 39 06 49 11 63; pesarofilmfest@mciink.it; 
www.pesarofilmfest.it 

SHANGHAI INT'L FILM FESTIVAL, June 8-16, China. 
Deadline: March 30. Non-specialized competitive test 
aims to enhance the mutual understanding & friendship 
among people in different countries & regions, to flourish 
cinematic art & to promote film industry development. 
Fest is composed of four main activities: Golden Cup 
Film Competition, Film Panorama, Film & TV Program 
Market & the Academic Seminar. Minimum running time: 
70 min. Awards: "JinJue" Award for Best Film; Special 
Jury Award; Best Actor, Actress, Music, Technology, & 
Director. Formats: 70mm, 35mm. Preview on VHS. Entry 
Fee: No entry fee. Contact: SIFF 11/F STV Mansions, 298 
Wei Hai Road, Shanghai 200041, China; Oil 86 21 6253 
7115; fax; 86 21 6255 2000; mickey@siff.com; 
www.siff.com 

SPLICE THIS! The Toronto Annual SuperS Film Festival., 
June 21-23, Canada. Deadline: March 31. Non-compet- 
itive fest dedicated to the exhibition of small gauge films, 
showcasing a wide range of work by first- time filmmak- 
ers & seasoned super-eighters. All entries must be shot 
on Super 8. Video will be screened only if original print 
isn't avail, or if the film was edited on video. 16mm 
blow-ups of super 8 films are also considered. Formats: 
super 8, silent super 8, super 8 w/ live accomampani- 
ment, super 8 w/ sound, super8 w/ audiocassette, . 
Preview on VHS. Entry Fee: $5. Contact: Laura Cowell. 92 
Borden St., Toronto, Ontario M5S2N1; (416) 856-2529; 
splicethis@yahoo.com; www.interlog.com/~coldsore 

SUNNY SIDE OF THE DOC MARKET. June 27-29, France. 
Deadline: early March. Annual market brings together 
ind. producers, distributors, commissioning editors, 
heads of TV programming depts & buyers from all over 
the world. Attended by some 539 companies from 35 
countries, 183 buyers & commissioning editors & 120 TV 
channels. Market provides opportunities for project 
development & meeting partners w/ Side-by-Side ses- 
sions (one-on-one meetings w/ commissioning editors 
for adce on projects). Founded: 1990. Cats: doc. 
Preview on VHS. Contact: SSD, 23 rue Francois Simon, 
13003 Marseille, France; Oil 33 4 95 04 44 80; fax: 
33 4 91 84 38 34; contact@sunnysideofthedoc.com; 
www.sunnysideofthedoc.com 



Find just what you 
need to know! 

AIVF members can search 

hundreds of up-to-date listings 

using the AIVF interactive 

festival directory at 

www.aivf.org/festivals 



54 THE INDEPENDENT March 2002 



notices of relevance to aivf members are list- 
ed free of charge as space permits. the 
independent reserves the right to edit for 
length and makes no guarantees about repeti- 
tions of a given notice. limit submissions to 60 
words & indicate how long info will be cur- 
rent, deadline: 1st of the month, two months 
prior to cover date (e.g., april 1 for june 
issue). complete contact info (name, address 
& phone) must accompany all notices. send to: 
notices@aivforg. we try to be as current as 
possible, but double-check before submitting 
tapes or applications. 

Competitions 

american cinema foundation's eighth annual 

SCREENWRITING COMPETITION; Founded to nurture 
and reward television and freature film projects which 
address fundamental social values, support and 
stranghthen the concepts of the common good and com- 
mon culture, and promote democratic pluralism. This 
themed, juried competition is designed to elicit scripts 
which are suitable for either theatrical or television pro- 
duction and which tell a positive story. Forst place win- 
ner receives $5,000 cash reward. Theme for 2002 is THE 
PURSUIT OF EXCELLENCE. Soliciting character driven 
scripts that deal with the human pursuit of excellence. 
Deadline is March 31, 2002. For more information and 
entry form for the Eight Annual Screenwriting 
Competition, visit website www.cinemafoundation.com 
or contact office: (310) 286-9420, fax, (310) 286-7914 
or e-mail acinema@cinemafoundation.com 

AUSTIN FILM FESTIVAL PRIME TIME COMPETITION: 

Call for entries. Two cats: sitcom & drama (based on a 
pre-existing show). Awards: $1,500 for each category 
winner. Airfare compensation up to $500, hotel compen- 
sation up to $500, VIP pass to Heart of Film Screenwriters 
Conference (October 11-18), & AFF bronze typewriter 
award for each category winner. Entry fee: $25. Deadline: 
April 15 (postmark). Contact: (512) 478-4795. 

FILM IN ARIZONA SCREENWRITING COMPETITION: 

Sixth year. To promote screenplays to film exec, that take 
place in Arizona. Nat'l competition for original feature- 
length screenplays (90 min., 120 max. pgs). Industry 
standard format req'd. Awards: $1,000 Cox 
Communications Award, guaranteed industry meetings, 
hotel accomodations, rental car, pro script notes; all 
finalists flown to LA for awards breakfast and will 
receive Scriptware software along with free exposure on 
Writers Script Network. Entry fees & deadlines: $30 (by 
April 13, 2002), $40 (by May 15). Wendy Carroll, "Film 
In Arizona" Screenwriting Competition, 3800 N. Central 
Ave., BIdg. D, Phoenix, AZ 85012; (602) 280-1380; hot- 
line: 280-1384; wendy@azcommerce.com; www.azm- 
merce.com/azfilmcommission.htm 

HOLLYWOOD SCRIPTWRITING CONTEST: To provide 
new valuable outlets for recognizing & promoting quality 
scripts of undiscovered writers worldwide. Registered 
feature films in English; motion picture standard master 
scene format required. Must be unoptioned, btwn 90 & 
130 pages. Rules & Requirement in full detail posted on 
contest website. Awards: Winning script loglines sent to 
agents & producers. Winning synopsis published on the 
Internet & marketed to production companies by Writers 



Script Network for 6 months. 1 year subscription to 
Scr(i)pt magazine. Winner's diploma posted on HSI web- 
site for 1 month. Entry Fee: $50. Deadline: monthly 
(postmarked by 15th of each month). Contact: 1605 
Cahuenga Blvd., Ste. 213, Hollywood, CA 90028; (800)- 
SCRIPTS; hwdscreen@aol.com; www.moviewriting.com 

SCRIPTAPALOOZA 4th ANNUAL SCREENWRITING 
COMPETITION: First prize is $10,000 and screenwriting 
software for the 3 winners and 10 runner-ups. All thir- 
teen winners will be considered by Scriptapalooza's out- 
standing participants; AMG, Samuel Goldwyn Films, Film 
Colony, Evolution, Phoenix Pictures and many more. 
Sponsors include Screenplay Systems and The 
Writer's Store. All entries must be postmarked no later 
than April 15, 2002. For further information or an 
application please visit www.scriptapalooza.com or call 
323-654-5809. 

TE}(AS FILM INSTITUTE SCREENPLAY COMPETITION: 

To promote, develop & seek production of new talented 
screenwriters within the studio and independent film 
market. Our sponsors expect to read solid dramatic 
scripts from our winners that reflect our high standards 
of writing for which we are known in the industry. 
Awards: Cash, possible option, entrants placing in semi- 
finals and up receive free evaluation of script, admission 
to the Santa Fe Screenwriters Conference. Entry fee: 
$40. Deadline: April 15. Contact: Lisa Matter, Creative 
Assistant, TFI 2002, The Ranch of Dos Cerros, 409 
Mountain Spring, Boerne, Tx 78006; (830)-537-5906; 
537-5906; 1xflix@aol.com; www.texasfilminstitute.com 

THE GREAT LAKES FILM ASSOCIATION SCREENPLAY 
COMPETITION: Currently accepting submissions the 
screenplay competition is open to all genres. Must be 
feature length (80 pages or more). Prize will include 
cash, awards and the top 15 screenplays will be passed 
along to an industry professional agency. Critiques will 
be available. Deadline: March 1st (early), April 12th 
(final). Fees: $35 (early), $45 (final). Contact George 
V.Woods, 100 Nordmere Dr. #9, Edinboro, PA 16412, 
(814) 734-6759; screenplay@greatlakesfilmfest.com. 
Entry form and rules at: www.greatlakesfilmfest.com 

Conferences • Workshops 

GLOBAL entertainment & MEDIA SUMMIT: Two days 
of high energy where the film, music and media worlds 
will meet to discuss networking, information, new prod- 
uct announcements and promotional opportunities. 
March 2nd & 3rd New Yorker Hotel Ballrooms and 
Conference Center, New York City. Contact Steve 
Zuckerman for more info: www.globalentertainmentnet- 
work.com or contact steve@globalentertainmentnet- 
work.com 

INSTITUTE OF VIDEOGRAPHY'S ANNUAL CONVENTION 
& TRADE EXHIBITION: April 24th & 25th 2002. Event 
showcases the latest technology & services in DV pro- 
duction. Event includes full schedule of seminars & 
workshops aimed at addressing the needs of today's 
video production community, including discussions on all 
key business topics. lOV welcomes non-members & 
offers free convention pre-registration service and con- 
vention info via web site. Contact: -1-44 (0) 20 8502 
3817; www.iov.co.uk 













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March 2002 THE INDEPENDENT 55 



INTERNATIONAL FILM SEMINARS GRANTS-IN-AID: A 

general category of support for those interested in and 
involved witfi film and video. Awards cover part of the 
$700 registration fee to attend the 48th Robert Flaherty 
Film Seminar held in upstate New York from June 14-21, 
2001. Deadline: April 19, 2002. Contact: International 
Film Seminars, Inc., 198 Broadway, Rm 1206, New York, 
NY 10038; (212) 608-3224; fax: 608-3242; ifs@flaherty- 
seminarorg; www.flahertyseminar.org. 



Films • 
Tapes Wanted 

BIJOU MATINEE: Is 

a showcase for 
independent shorts. 
Program appears 
weekly on Channel 
35 leased access 
Manhattan Cable 
South (below 86th St.) 
every Sat at 2:30 PM. 
Submissions should be 
25 min. or less. VHS, 
3/4", or DV. Send copies 
to Bijou Matinee, Box 
649, New York, NY 
10159; (212) 505-3649; 
www.BijoulVlatinee.com 



MICROCINEMA, INC./ BLACKCHAIR PRODUCTIONS: Is 

accepting short video, film & digital media submissions 
of 15 min, or less on an ongoing basis for the monthly 
screening program Independent Exposure. Artists quali- 
fy for a non-exclusive distribution deal, incl. additional 
license fees for int'l offline & online sales. Looking for 
short narrative, alternative, humorous, dramatic, erotic, 
animation, etc. Works selected may continue on to nat'l 
and int'l venues for additional screenings. Submit VHS 
or S-VHS (NTSC preferred) labeled with name, 
title, length, phone # and any support materials 
incl. photos. Submissions will not be returned. 



A Meeting of the Minds 



CHICAGO COMMUNITY 
CINEMA: Offers the 
excitement of an annual film festival with a monthly 
extravaganza of a networking test and movie showcase. 
On the first Tuesday of each month short films, trailers, 
music videos, commercials, student films, and features, of 
all genres are showcased to an audience of industry profes- 
sionals. Evenings begin with a cocktail hour to showcase 
local organizations and allow for a stmng social networking 
atmosphere before the screenings. Submission form 
available at website. Entry Fee: $25. Deadline; 
Ongoing. Contact: Chicago Community Cinema, 401 W. 
Ontario, Suite 208, Chicago, IL 60610; (312) 863-3451; 
www.ChicagoCommunityCinema.com 

CINEMARENO: A year-round festival of films. Monthly 
screenings showcase new independent films & videos. 
Focusing on new, undistributed works. Formats: 16mm, 
35mm, Beta-SR DV. Preview on VHS. Entry fee: $20. 
Contact: CINEMARENO, RO. Box 5372, Reno NV 89513, 
e-mail: cinemareno@excite.com. Entry form and guide- 
lines at www.cinemareno.org 

DUTV: A progressive, nonprofit access channel in 
Philadelphia, seeks works by indie producers. All genres 
& lengths considered. Will return tapes. Beta SP DV, S- 
VHS & 3/4" accepted for possible cablecast & webcast. 
VHS for preview. Contact: Debbie Rudman, DUTV, 3141 
Chestnut St., BIdg 98, Rm 4026, Philadelphia, PA 19104; 
(215) 895-2927; dutv@drexel.edu; www.dutv.org 

MAKOR: Continues its on-going Reel Jews Film Series 
that showcases the work of emerging Jewish filmmakers. 
Now accepting shorts, features, docs and/or works-in- 
progress, regardless of theme, for screening considera- 
tion and network building. For more info, call Ken 
Sherman at (212) 601-1021 or e-mail me at kensher- 
man@makor.org. 



It's hard sometimes to stay in tune 
with the always-changing entertain- 
ment industry, especially when 
you're on the ground floor. So on 
March 2nd & 3rd at the New Yorker Hotel the Global 
Entertainment & Media Summit will take place. Created to help 
those who want to learn about new products and opportunities, 
the summit is a perfect opportunity for those who want to make 
connections. Thousands of people from the film and music 
industry will gather to discuss current topics. Speaking at the 
summit will be record manager Miles Copeland and filmmaker 
John Waters. For more information go to www.globalentertain- 
mentnetwork.com. See listing. 



Contact: Microcinema, Inc., 2318 Second Ave., #313- 
A, Seattle, WA 98121, USA. Info/details: (206) 322- 
0282; info@microcinema.com; www.microcinema.com 

PARK4DTV: Is an Amsterdam-based organization spe- 
cializing in broadcast of a 60 min. TV art piece every 
night. Works vary from computer-generated abstract 
work to ultra hard-core reality TV. Founded in 1991. 
PARK4DTV has broadcast more than 1100 different 1 hr. 
tapes made by artist around the world & is looking for 
tapes that fit into the program. Artists will be paid for 
broadcasted work. Organization also has programs in 
Rotterdam, New York & Berlin. Contact: PARK4DTV. Box 
11344, 1001 GH Amsterdam, Netherlands; info@park,nl; 
www,park,nl 

QUEER PUBLIC ACCESS TV PRODUCERS: Seek public 
access show tapes by/for/about gay, lesbian, bi, drag, 
trans subjects, for inclusion in academic press book on 
queer community programming. All program genres wel- 
come, Incl. info about your program's history & distribu- 
tion. Send VHS tapes to: Eric Freedman, Asst. Professor, 
Comm. Dept, Florida Atlantic Univ, 777 Glades Rd., 
Boca Raton, FL 33431; (561) 297-2534; 
efreedma@fau.edu 

SHIFTING SANDS CINEMA: Is a quarterly screening 
series presenting experimental video, film, animation & 
digital media. Short works (under 20 min.) on VHS 
(NTSC) are saught. Incl. synopsis of work, artist's bio & 
contract info. Deadline ongoing. Tapes are unable to be 
returned. Submissions will become part of the Shifting 
Sands Archives & will also be considered for curated 
exhibitions and other special projects. Contact: Shifting 
Sands Cinema, c/o Jon Shumway, Art Dept, Slippery 



Rock Univ., Slippery Rock, PA 16057; (724) 738-2714; 
jon.shumway@sru.edu. 

THE SHORT FILM GROUP: Accepts shorts throughout 

the year for its quarterly series of screenings in Los 

I Angeles. The group is a non-profit organization created 

' to promote short film "as a means to itself." For more 

I information, please visit www.shortfilmgroup.org. 

SOUTHWEST ALTERNATE MEDIA PROJECT: Seeks short 
films of up to 28 min. to air on The Territory (the longest- 
running showcase of short films on PBS in America, air- 
ing on 13 PBS stations in Texas). Artists of works chosen 

are paid $35 per min. Deadline: April 15, 2002. Send 

VHS (NTSC): The Territory, Mary Lampe, Co-Exec. 

Producer, SWAMP 1519 W Main, Houston, TX 77006; 

(713) 522-8592; fax: 522-0953; mmlampe@swamp.org 

THE VIDEO PROJECT: A leading educational distributor 
of videos, seeks environment and educational films and 
videos to aggressively market to the educational mar- 
ket. Contact us with finished projects or rough cuts. The 
Video Project, 45 Lusk Alley, San Francisco, CA, 94107, 
www.videoproject.net; video@videoproject.net 

ZOIE SKIN FESTIVAL: Included in the Zoie Film 
Festival will be a FLASH animation festival of the sexy 
kind! Send us your sexy shorts (movies and animation 
that is). Looking for erotic, passionate movies. Film 
shorts with scenes that expose skin, movies with sex- 
ual tension. Entry form and more info at 
www.zoiefilms.com/sexyshorts.htm 

Publications 

JOURNAL OF FILM & VIDEO: Seeks written reviews of 
Univ Film & Video Assoc, member films for possible 
inclusion in journal. Send approx. 5 double-spaced pages 
to: Suzanne Regan, Editor, Journal of Film and Video, 
Department of Communication Studies, California State 
University, Los Angeles, 5151 Sate University Dr., L.A., 
CA, 90032; (323) 343-4206; sregan@calstatela.edu 

SANCTUARY QUARTERLY: Is a new literary magazine 
that aims to bring the art of screenwriting to a wider 
audience. Sanctuary is devoted exclusively to creative 
work — thoughtful, entertaining, meaningful screenplay 
writing by both established screenwriters and 
undiscovered talent Writers are encouraged to submit 
excerpts of quality screenplays for publication. Visit 
www.sanctuaryquarterly.com for more information. 

Resources • Funds 

OPEN door COMPLETION FUND: Funding is available 

from National Asian American Telecommunications 
Association (NAATA) for applicants with public TV pro- 
jects in final post-production phase. Full-length rough 
cut must be submitted. Awards average $20,000 & 
NAATA funds must be the last monies needed to finish 
project. Applications reviewed on a rolling basis. Review 
process takes approximately 1-3 months. Contact 
NAATA Media Fund. 346 Ninth St., 2nd FL, San 
Francisco, CA 94103; (415) 863-0814: fax: 863-7428; 
mediafind@naatanetorg; www.naatanetorg 

OPPENHEIMER CAMERA: New filmmaker grant equip, 
program offers access to professional 16mm camera 
system for first serious new productions in dramatic. 



56 THE INDEPENDENT March 2002 




THE ASSOffATION OF INDEPENDENT 
VfOEO AND FILMMAKERS 



To SUCCEED AS AN INDEPENDENT 
you need o wealth of resources, 
strong connections, and the best 
information ovailable. Whether 
through our service and education 
programs, the pages of our magazine, 
our web resource, or through the 
organization raising its collective 
voice to advocate for important issues, 
AIVF preserves your independence 
while reminding you you're not alone. 

About AIVF and FIVF 

Offering support for individuals and 
advocacy for the media arts field. 
The Association of Independent 
Video and Filmmakers (AIVF) is a 
I national membership organization 
that partners with the Foundation for 
Independent Video and Film (FIVF), a 
1501(c)(3) nonprofit that offers a 
broad slate of education and 
1 information programs. 

I Information Resources 

AIVF workshops and events cover the 
whole spectrum of issues affecting 
the field. Practical guides on festivals, 
i distribution, exhibition and outreach 
help you get your film to audiences 
(see other part of insert). 

The Independent 

Membership provides you with a 
year's subscription to The Independent, 
a monthly magazine filled with 
thought-provoking features, profiles, 
news, and regular columns on 
I business, technical, and legal matters. 
Plus the field's best source of festival 
listings, funding deadlines, exhibition 
venues, and announcements of 
member activities and services. 



AIVF Online 

Stay connected through www.aivf.org, 
featuring resource listings and links, 
web-original articles, media advocacy 
information, discussion areas, and 
the lowdown on AIVF services. 
Members-only features include 
interactive notices and festival 
listings, distributor and funder 
profiles, and archives of The 
Independent. SPLICE! is a monthly 
electronic newsletter that features 
late breaking news and highlights 
special programs and opportunities. 

Insurance & Discounts 

Members are eligible for discounted 
rates on health and production 
insurance offered by providers who 
design plans tailored to the needs of 
low-budget mediamqkers. Businesses 



across the country offer discounts on 
equipment and auto rentals, stock 
and expendibles, film processing, 
transfers, editing, shipping, and other 
production necessities. Members also 
receive discounts on classified ads in 
The Independent. 

Community 

AIVF supports over 20 member- 
organized, member-run regional 
salons across the country, to strengthen 
local media arts communities. 

Advocacy 

AIVF has been consistently outspoken 
about preserving the resources and 
rights of independent mediamakers. 
Members receive information on 
current issues and public policy, ond 
the opportunity to add their voice to 
collective actions. 



MEMBERSHIP BENEFITS 

INDIVIDUAL/STUDENT 

Includes: one year's subscription to 

The Independent • access to group 

insurance plans • discounts on 

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Trade Partners • online & over-the- 

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discounted admission to seminars, 

screenings, & events • book 

discounts • classifieds discounts • 

advocacy action alerts • eligibility 

to vote & run for board of directors 

• members-only web services. 

DUAL MEMBERSHIP 

All of the above benefits extended 

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JOINT MEMBERSHIPS 

Special AIVF memberships are also 
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call (212) 807-1400 x236. 

LIBRARY SUBSCRIPTION 

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Independent for multiple readers, 

mailed first class. Contact your 

subscription service to order or call 

AIVF at (21 2) 807-1400x501. 




With ail ttiat AiVF lias to offer, can you afford not to be a member? Join today! 

Mail to AIVF, 304 Hudson St., 6th fl. New York, NY 10013; or charge by phone (212) 807-1400 x 503, by fax (212) 463-8519, 
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For Library subscriptions: please contact your subscription service, or call AIVF at (212) 807-1400 x501. 



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doc, experimental, or narrative form. Purely commercial 
projects not considered. Provides camera on year-round 
basis. No appl. deadline, but allow 10 week minimum for 
processing. Contact: Film Grant, Oppenheimer Camera, 
666 S. Plummer St., Seattle, WA 98134; (206) 467-8666; 
fax: (206) 467-9165; marty@oppenheimercamera.com; 
www.oppenheimercamera.com 

PAUL ROBESON FUND FOR INDEPENDENT MEDIA: 

Solicits projects addressing critical social & political issues 
w/ goal of creating social change. Funding for radio pro- 
jects in all stages of production; film & video projects in 
preproduction or distribution stages only. Grants range 
from $3,000-$8,000. Deadline: May 15. Contact: Trinh 
Duong, The Funding Exchange, 666 Broadway, #500, NY, 
NY 10012; (212) 529-5300. 

PORTLAND, OREGON FILMMAKING GRANTS: Digital 
Media Education Center of Portland, OR is announcing an 
open call for submissions for Avid Film Camp program. AFC 
affords a boost to indie feature directors looking to com- 
plete their films, while offering Avid-authorized training to 
career editors. Films will also receive free Pro Tools audio 
finishing & Avid Symphony Online editing. Submissions 
need to be feature-length projects w/ shooting completed. 
Projects accepted on a rolling basis. Contact: 
Deborah Cravey, Digital Media Education Center, 5201 SW 
Westgate Dr., Ste. Ill, Portland, OR 97221; 
(503) 297-2324; deb@filmcamp.com; www.filmcamp.com 

THOUSAND WORDS FINISHING FUND: Considers projects 
by first or second time feature filmmakers looking to create 
intelligent, innovative, and challenging films. The $500,000 
fund is available in varied amounts for editing, sound mix- 
ing, music rights, and other post-production costs. 
Selected films will also receive assistance in film festival 
planning and distribution. Narratives, animation and 
works-in-progress may be submitted. Application forms 
can be downloaded at Thousand Words' website: 
www.thousand-words.com. Contact: finishingfund@thou- 
sand-words.com or Thousand Words, 9100 Wilshire Blvd., 
Suite 404E, Los Angeles, CA 90212. (310) 859-8330, fax, 
(310) 859-8333. 

WRITER'S FILM PROJECT: Sponsored by Paramount 
Pictures, the WFP offers fiction, theature & film writers the 
opportunity to begin a career in screenwriting. Up to five 
writers will be chosen to participate & each will recieve a 
$20,000 stipend to cover his or her living expenses. 
Deadling is May 15, 2002. Applications must be sent by 
mail only. Contact: Chesterfield WFP 1158 26th St., RO. 
Box 544, Santa Monica, CA 90403; 213-683-3977; 
www.chesterfield-co.com 



Find just what you 
need to know! 

AIVF members can search 

all current notices using the 

AIVF interactive 

resource directory at 

www.aivf.org/listings 




mi Call for Entries 




FILTVA FESTIVVKL 

IftI AdsiiI Fili/Yidio hitifil 

Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center 
May 2nd-5th, 2002 

Call or Write for Entry Forms (Due 4/1/02) 

Christopher Cooke, Director 

Long Island Film Festival 

c/o P.O. Box 13243 

Hauppauge, NY 11788 

1-800-762-4769 . (631) 853-4800 

From 10:00am-6pm, Mon-Fri 

or visit our website at www.lifilm.org 



Looking for a Distributor? 



The University of California Extension is a leading educational distributor, 

with 85 years of experience selling to universities, schools, libraries, 

health organizations, and other institutions worldwide. 

If your new work is ready for distribution, give us a call. 
University of California Extension 



510-643-2788 cmil@uclink.berkeley.edu 

http://vAvw-cmil.unex.berkeley.edu/media/ 



March 2002 THE INDEPENDENT 57 






DEADLINE: 1ST OF EACH MONTH, 2 MONTHS PRIOR 
TO COVER DATE (E.G. APRIL 1 FOR JUNE ISSUE). 
CONTACT: JAMES ISRAEL, (212) 807-1400, FAX: 463- 
8519; CLASSIFIEDS@AIVFORG. 

PER ISSUE COST: 

0-240 CHARACTERS (INCL. SPACES & PUNCTUATION) 
$45 FOR NONMEMBERS/$30 FOR AIVF MEMBERS; 
241-360 CHARS: $85/$45; 361-480 CHARS: $80/$60; 
481-600 CHARS: $95/$75; OVER 600 CHARACTERS: 
CALL FOR QUOTE (212) 807-1400 X. 229 

Frequency discount: 
$5 OFF PER ISSUE FOR ADS RUNNING 5+ TIMES. 

ADS OVER SPECIFIED LENGTH WILL BE EDITED. COPY 
SHOULD BE TYPED & ACCOMPANIED BY CHECK OR 
MONEY ORDER PAYABLE TO: FIVE 304 HUDSON ST, 6TH 
FL, NEW YORK, NY 10013. INCLUDE BILLING ADDRESS; 
DAYTIME PHONE; # OF ISSUES; AND VALID MEMBER 
ID# FOR MEMBER DISCOUNT TO PAY BY VISA 
/MC/AMEX INCL. CARD #; NAME ON CARD; EXP DATE. 



Interactive classified ads available 
online at www.aivf.org/classifieds 



Buy • Rent • Sell 

SONY PD 150 complete camera package plus 
Sennheiser MKH 60 P 48 shotgun mic. $100/day; 
$400/week. Also, Final Cut Pro, Adobe Premiere; tutorial 
available. (917) 749-6827 or info@tutakfilms,com. 

KEEP IT DIGITAL! Digibeta deck for rent (Sony A-500), 
by day week,month. Also dubs from Digibeta to Beta-SP 
VHS, DVCam, mini-DV, etc. Uncompressed Avid suite, 
too. Production Central (212) 631-0435. 

MOST COMPLETE SUPER 16MM camera package in 
U.S. We pay roundtrip next day shipping anywhere. You 
quote us a price. Support, no extra charge. You won't 
believe it, check it out. (312) 505-3456; www.zacuto- 
rentals.com. 

PRODUCTION EQUIPMENT FOR SALE! Visit our new 
website — www.ProductionClassifieds.com — and 
browse dozens of ads for used film and TV gear orga- 
nized under various categories. Got something to sell? 
Expose it to the industry today! For a limited time. AIVF 
members can place a classified ad on the site for 10% 
off. Use coupon code: IND838 in the Create Ad stage. 

SHARE DOWNTOWN PRODUCTION OFFICE: Up to 300 

sq. ft. available, 4-line phone system with voicemail, fax, 
copier, TV/VCR, cable. Broadway/Houston area. Short/long 
term. Call High Voltage Productions at (212) 295-7878. 

VIDEO DECKS/EDIT SYSTEMS/CAMERAS FOR RENT: I 

deliver! Beta-SP deck (Sony UVW-1800) $150/day, 
$450/wk. Also, 1:1 Avid Suite, Final Cut, DV Cam decks 
and cameras, mics, lights, etc. Production Central (212) 
631-0435. 

Distribution 

19 YEARS AS AN INDUSTRY LEADER! Representing out- 
standing video on healthcare, mental health, disabilities 



& related issues; which win Oscars, Emmys, Duponts, 
Freddies & more. Join us! Fanlight Productions: 
(800) 937-4113; www.fanlight.com. 

BALLANTINE FILMS.COM: Online streaming and 
resource site for film and video professionals is seeking 
submissions of independent and student film and 
videos, preferrbly shorts, in all genres for free streaming 
broadcast. Contact: info@BallantineFilms.com or visit 
website for more information: www.BallantineFilms.com. 

EDUCATIONAL DISTRIBUTOR SEEKS VIDEOS on guid- 
ance issues, such as violence, drug prevention, mentor- 
ing, children's health, & parenting for exclusive distribu- 
tion. Our marketing gives unequaled results! Call Sally 
Germain at The Bureau for At-Risk Youth: (800) 99- 
YOUTH x. 210. 

LOOKING FOR AN EDUCATIONAL DISTRIBUTOR? Consider 
the University of California. We can put 80 years of 
successful marketing expertise to work for you. Kate Spohr: 
(510) 643-2788; www-cmil.unex.berkeleyedu/media. 

THE CINEMA GUILD, leading film/video/multimedia dis- 
tributor, seeks new doc, fiction, educational, & animation 
programs for distribution. Send videocassettes or discs 
for evaluation tO: The Cinema Guild, 130 Madison Ave., 
2nd fl., New York, NY 10016; (212) 685-6242; grow- 
dus@cinemaguild.com; Ask for our Distribution 
Services brochure. 

Freelance 

35MM/16MM PROD. PKG w/ DP. Complete package w/ 
DP's own Arri 35BL, 16SR. HMIs, dolly jib crane, light- 
ing, DAT grip, 5-ton truck. . . more. Call for reel: Tom 
Agnello (201) 741-4367; roadtoindy@aol.com. 

ACCOUNTANT/BOOKKEEPER/CONTROLLER Experience 

in both corporate & nonprofit sectors. Hold MBA in 
Marketing & Accounting. Freelance work sought. Sam 
Sagenkahn (917) 374-2464. 

ANDREW DUNN, Director of Photography/camera opera- 
tor Arri35 BL3, Aaton XTRprod S16, Sony DVCAM. 
Experience in features, docs, TV, & industrials. Credits: 
Dog Run, Strays, Working Space/Working Light. (212) 
477-0172; AndrewD158@aol.com. 

AVID EDITOR W/ SYMPHONY recently relocated to 
Burbank. Excellent rates, both off- and online. Looking to 
form long-term relationships with independents. Call 
Charlene for info and reel at (818) 563-1426 or email 
PeregrineFilms@aol.com. 

AWARD-WINNING EDITOR w/ Avid and Beta SP facility. 
Features, shorts, docs, music videos, educational, 
industrials, demos. Trilingual: Spanish, English, Catalan. 
Nuria Olive-Belles (212) 228-4724. 

BRENDAN C. FLYNT: Director of Photography w/ many 
feature & short film credits. Owns 35 Arri BL3, Super 
16/16 Aaton, HMIs, Dolly and Tulip Crane. Awards at 
Sundance & Raindance. Call for quotes & reel at (212) 
208-0968; www.dpFlynt.com. 

CAMERAMAN/STEADICAM OPERATOR: 35BL, 16SR, 
Beta SR Stereo TC Nagra4, TC Fostex PD-4 DAT feature 
lite pkg. to shoot features, music videos, commercials, 
etc. Call Mik Cribben for info & reel, (212) 929-7728 or 
(800) 592-3350. 



CINEMATOGRAPHER w / Aaton reg/super-16mm, Sony 
600 Beta, Sony DSR-500 DVCAM packages + lights + 
Van. Experienced, looking to collaborate on features, 
docs shorts & commercials. Adam Vardy reel -i- rates 
(212) 932 8255; nyvardy@worldnet.att.net 

CINEMATOGRAPHER w / awards, talent, & experience. 

Credits incl. features, commercials, industrials, docs. 
Various film/video pkgs. avail. Call for top quality reel. 
Robert (212) 343-0755 rblnr@earthlink.net. 

CINEMATOGRAPHER w/ Super 16 package with video 
tap, digital, lighting; 20 yrs experience on features, 
shorts, documentaries, music videos. Excellent crew. 
Italian, English, some Spanish; will travel. Renato Tonelli 
(718) 728-7567; rtonelli@tiscalinet.it. 

CINEMATOGRAPHER with Aaton 16mm/sl6mm 
package, DVCAM, DV lighting gear and more. A special 
interest in docs and other projects with progressive 
social values. Kevin Skvorak (718) 782-9179; k.skvo- 
rak@verizon.net. 

COMPOSER Miriam Cutler loves to collaborate with film- 
makers — features, docs. Sundance: Scout's Honor, 
Licensed To Kill / Peabody: The Castro / POV: Double Life 
of Ernesto Gomez Gomez, PBS, & more (323) 564-1807; 
mircut2@earthlink.net. 

COMPOSER: Original music for your film or video pro- 
ject. Will work with any budget. Complete digital studio. 
NYC area. Demo CD upon request. Call Ian O'Brien: (201) 
222-2638; iobrien@bellatlantic.net. 

COMPOSER: Perfect music for your project. Orchestral to 
techno — you name it! Credits incl. NFL, 
PBS, Sundance, Absolut. Bach, of Music, Eastman 
School. Quentin Chiappetta (718) 782-4535; medi- 
anoise@excite.com. 

DIGITAL VIDEO— Sony VXIOOO digital camera & cam- 
eraman, Sennheiser ME 66 shotgun mic, pro acces- 
sories. Experienced in dance, theater, performance art 
documentahon, & features. Final Cut Pro digital editing 
with editor $125/day John Newell (212) 677-6652; 
johnewell@earthlink.neL 

DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY with Aaton Super 
16/16mm and Arri 35BL2 camera pkgs. Independent 
films a specialty. Create that "big film" look on a low 
budget. Flexible rates; I work quickly Willing to travel. 
Matthew: (617) 244-6730; (845)-439-5459; 
mwdp@att.net. 

D.P W/ AATON XTR PROD & SONY DSR-500 (16:9 pal & 
ntsc) Well-rounded, well-travelled DP looking for creative 
projects at home and abroad. Extensive lighting package 
also available. Call Lloyd @ (718) 623-0092. 
Ilds@earthlink.net 

DV CONSULTANT: Need help w/ Final Cut Pro' Exp. con- 
sultant avail, for training in FCP AfterEffects. Media 
Cleaner Pro, or just Mac basics. Former Apple tech rep. 
& working filmmaker in NYC. Discount for AIVF members. 
Greg (347) 731-3466. 

ENTERTAINMENT AHORNEY: frequent contributor to 

"Legal Brief" in The Independent & other mags, offers 
legal services to film & video community on projects 
from development thru distribution. Contact Robert L 
Seigel, Esq, (212) 333-7000. 



58 THE INDEPENDENT March 2002 



ENTERTAINMENT LAW FIRM: Film and television pro- 
duction, distribution, financing; business consultants; 
and artist counsel. Ask about AIVF discounts for mem- 
bers. Brandon A. Blake, Blake & Wang RA. 310/543- 
9085, blakewang@optimalegal.com. 

EXPERIENCED LINE PRODUCER available to help with 
your Breakdown, Schedule, Day out of Days, and/or 
Budget. Specialty is low budget but high quality. Email 
AnnettaLM@aol.com for rates and references. 

GRANTWRITING/FUNDRAISING: Research, writing & 
strategy (for production, distribution, exhibition, & edu- 
cational projects of media). Successful proposals to 
NYSCA, NEA, NEH, ITVS, Soros, Rockefeller, Lila Acheson 
Wallace Foundation. Fast writers, reasonable rates. 
Wanda Bershen, (212) 598-0224; www.reddiaper.com; 
or Geri Thomas (212) 625-2011; www.artstafting.com. 

LOCATION SOUND: Over 20 yrs sound exp. w/timecode 
Nagra & DAT, quality mics. Reduced rates for low-budget 
projects. Harvey & Fred Edwards, (518) 677-5720; 
edfilms@worldnet.att.net. 

PRODUCER WITH CREW: Line Producer with top notch 
crew and equipment available for features, industrials, 
commercials, and shorts. Rates for all budgets. 
Contact Peter Welch at (212) 615-6457; email: 
pwelch@earthlink.net. 

PRODUCTION SERVICES: Emmy Award-winning docu- 
mentary team offers production services from soup to 
nuts. DV, NTSC and PAL cameras. Extensive internation- 
al coproduction experience. Final Cut Pro and AVID edit- 
ing. Contact info@jezebel.org. 

PRODUCTION TRANSCRIPTS Verbatim transcripts for 
documentaries, journalists, etc. Low prices & flat rates 
based on tape length. Standard 1 hr., 1-on-linterview is 
only $70; www.productiontranscripts.com for details or 
call (888) 349-3022. 

PROFESSIONAL EDITOR: Experienced Teacher offering 
Final Cut Pro classes. 2 per class, choose from Day or 
Evening. Private tutorials also available. East Village 
location. Call (917) 523-6260; or e-mail: 
Hinoonprod@aol.com. 

SCRIPT CONSULTANT: Does your script have a medical 
scene or character? Experienced MD/filmmaker will 
review it for accuracy & authenticity. Reasonable rates & 
fast turnaround. Jay McLean-Riggs (425) 462-7393; 
jay.mcleanriggs@aya.yale.edu. 

Opportunities • Gigs 

LOOKING FOR TALENTED and dedicated DP and Prod. 
Crew for independent feature scheduled to shoot sum- 
mer 2002. If experienced and interested, please send 
references, reel, and/or resume to A Bully Production, 
Jennifer 34R 355 Southend Avenue, NYC 10280. 

PT PROF IN FILM INDUSTRY for Audrey Cohen 
College Top NYC Wkend Exec MBA Program in 
Media Mgmt: Knowledge Film Industry Structure/ 
Finance/Production/Marketing/Distribution. 
MBA/JD/PHD-i- Producing & Biz Experience Essential. 
Please Fax FRM-AVF (212) 343-8477. 

WELL-ESTABLISHED freelance camera group in NYC 
seeking professional cameramen and soundmen w/ solid 



Betacam video experience to work w/ our wide array of 
clients. If qualified contact COA at (212) 505-1911. 
Must have video samples/reel. 

Preproduction 

BUDGETS/INVESTOR PACKAGE: Experienced Line 
Producer will prepare script breakdowns, shooting 
schedules, & detailed budgets. Movie Magic equipped. 
MC, Visa, Amex. Indie rates negotiable. Mark (212) 340- 
1243. 

SU-CITY PICTURES' clients win awards and get deals! 
Susan Kougell, Harvard/Tufts instructor, author The 
Savvy Screenwriter, analyzes: scripts/films/treat- 
ments/queries/synopses/pitches.Credits: 
Miramax/Warner Bros/Fine Line. Rewrites available. 
(212) 219-9224; www.su-city-pictures.com. 

YELLOW HOOK CINEMAFEST Ongoing film series seeks 
submissions from local filmmakers. 45 min. and under 
for weekly screenings. Please send VHS only with con- 
tact info to Kevin Kash c/o Three Jolly Pigeons, 6802 3rd 
Ave. Brooklyn, NY 11220. 

POSTPRODUCTION 

16MM SOUND MIX only $100/hr. Interlocked 16mm pic- 
ture & tracks mixed to 16 or 35mm fullcoat. 
16mm/35mm post services: picture & sound editorial, 
ADR, interlock screening, 16mm mag xfers (.065/ft), 
16mm edgecoding (.015/ft). Call Tom (201) 741-4367. 

A-RAY PRODUCTIONS RENTS AVIDS: Our place or 
yours. Comfortable edit suites in Weston, CT or we'll 
bring it to you (2-wk minimum). Rates from $1000, 
Includes AVR 77 + Real Time EFX. Award-winning edi- 
tors available. Call (203) 544-1267. 

AVID EDITOR A dozen feature credits. New Media 
Composer w/ AVR 77 & offline rez. Beta SR DAT extra 
drives. Pro-tools editing & mixing, and your Avid or mine. 
Fast & easy to get along with. Credit cards accepted. 
Drina (212) 561-0829. 

AVID MEDIA COMPOSER XLIOOO On-Line or Off. Great 
rental prices! Convenient Chelsea location, 24/7 access: 
Riverside Films (212) 242-3005. 

BRODSKY & TREADWAY Film-to-tape masters. Reversal 
only. Regular 8mm, Super 8, or archival 16mm. We love 
early B&W & Kodachrome. Scene-by-scene only. Correct 
frame rates. For appt. call (978) 948-7985. 

DVD AUTHORING FOR VIDEO PROFESSIONALS. JTF 

Graphics provides high quality design and authoring at a 
great price. Visit our website for pricing information and 
references from other video professionals, www.jtf- 
graphics.com; 1-800-993-9552. 

DVD DESIGN AND PRODUCTION for film and video 
artists. Even if you have your own DVD burner, quality 
design and authoring makes all the difference. Discount 
for AIVF members. Contact: dvd@randomroom.com; 
www.randomroom.com, 

EDITOR - AVID/FCP w/AVID facility located in Soho. 
Docs, features, shorts, music videos, and industrials. 
Bilingual: French, Italian, & basic Spanish. Contact 
Charlotte at (718) 855-6711; stobbs@earthlink.net; 
www.invisiblesplice.com. 



FINAL CUT PRO CLASSES Learn to edit video/film on 
Final Cut Pro! Each student works on a dual screen FOP 
workstation. Our class sizes are very small (only 2 stu- 
dents per class), so we can give you the individual atten- 
tion you need to really learn the software fast. The 
teacher for this class is a former commercial Avid edi- 
tor/instructor who has worked at most of the major ad 
agencies in NYC for the past 5 years, and who has 
switched to Final Cut Pro two years ago believing it will 
soon be the standard for all professional editing because 
it is affordable to all, and can accomplish all the aspects 
of professional editing at a fraction of the cost of an Avid 
Media Composer. Bring your own project in. Lab time 
included with class. Weekend, weekday, day, and night 
classes. Check out our website and register online. 
Classes located at 225 Lafayette Street, Suite 714. We 
also do one on one instruction at our studio, or at your 
home or office. Make your first music video, documen- 
tary, feature film, or just take those old wedding pictures 
out and cut something special. Editing services also 
available. S.R.R Video Services, Inc., 225 Lafayette st, 
Suite 714, NY, NY 10012. Phone: 212-334-7380. Web: 
www.FinalCutproClasses.com. E-mail: fcpclasses@aol.com. 

FINAL CUT PRO RENTAL: Private edit suite in the 
Financial District w/ 24 hour access. 35 hours broadcast 
storage, 200-1- at low res. Call Jonathan at Mint Leaf 
Productions: (212) 952-0121 x. 229. 



Interactive classified ads available 
online at www.aivf.org/ciassifieds 



NAATA MEDIA FUND 



With support from the Corporation for 
Public Broadcasting, the National Asian 
American Telecommunications Association 
(NAATA) provides production and 
completion funds for Asian American film 
and video projects that have potential for 
national public television broadcast. 

RECENT MEDIA FUND HIGHLIGHTS 

ANCESTORS IN THE AMERICAS by Loni Ding 

THE DEBUT by Gene Cajayon 

DREAM CATCHER by Ed Radtke 

FIRST PERSON PLURAL 
by Deann Borshay Liem 

THE FLIP SIDE by Rod Pulido 

RABBIT IN THE MOON 
by Emiko Omori 

REGRET TO INFORM by Barbara 
Sonneborn and Janet Cole 

ROOTS IN THE SAND by Jaysari Hart 

THE SPLIT HORN 

byTaggart Siegel and Jim McSilver 

TURBANS by Erika Surat Andersen 





March 2002 THE INDEPENDENT 59 



# 





www.aivf.org 



UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED, ALL AIVF EVENTS TAKE 
PLACE AT OUR OFFICES (SEE BELOW). RSVP 
REQUIRED FOR ALL EVENTS. (212) 807-1400 X301 OR 
INF0@AIVF.ORG. 

AIVF at the DC INDEPENDENT FILM FESTIVAL 
(February 28-March 7, Washington, DC) 

The DC Independent Film Festival and 
Market thrives as a showcase for works by 
local and national independent filmmak- 
ers, drawing attention to the nation's cap- 
ital as a market for independent filmmak- 
ing. AIVF and its Washington, D.C. salon 
will copresent a panel at the Market. 
Details will be posted at www.aivf org and 
on the festival website. For further infor- 
mation: www.dcifforg, or 202-686-8867. 

AIVF at the 

NEW YORK UNDERGROUND FILM 

FESTIVAL 

(March 6-12, Anthology Film Archives, NYC) 

The Independent has affectionately 
dubbed the NYUFF "in between Warhol's 
Factory and the Manson Family." And 
here it is, parading its 9th Year in full 



reach AIVF 

FILMMAKERS' RESOURCE LIBRARY 
HOURS: TUES.-FRI. 11-6; WED. 11-9 

The AIVF office is located at 304 Hudson St. 

(between Spring & Vandam) 6th fl,, in 

New York City. Subways: 1 or 9 to Houston, 

C or E to Spring. Our Filmmakers' Resource 

Library houses hundreds of print and 

electronic resources, from essential 

directories & trade magazines to sample 

proposals & budgets. 

BY PHONE: (212)807-1400 

Recorded information available 24/7; 
operator on duty Tues.-Fri. 2-5p.m. EST 

BY INTERNET: 
www.aivf.org; info@aivf.org 



regalia. Don't miss the collection (that 
defies convention!) of fiction/non-fic- 
tion/avant garde shorts and features from 
film- and videomakers around the world. 
AIVF is proud to support NYUFF and to 
copresent two panel discussions: 



^^fe^^Pi 



Saturday, 

March 9, 

12-2 p.m. 

OFF THE SHELF: NON-THEATRICAL 

DISTRIBUTION FOR FILM AND VIDEO 



A panel on distributing experimental, 
underground, and avant garde media 
non-theatrically via DVD, video, and any 
means necessary! After all, what good's 
your film if it's sitting on the shelf? 
Featuring Jon Gartenberg (Re -Voir), Matt 
McCormick (Peripheral Produce), Gar>' 
Hurwit (Plexiiilm) , and other guests T~BA. 

Sunday, March 10, 12-2 

IS THE GRASS GREENER? ART WORLD VS. FILM 

WORLD 

A panel on the ins and outs of galler>' exhi- 
bition and representation ot film and video 
in the art world. Curated by Lia Gangitano 
(Participant Inc.). Panelists TBA. 

Events take place at Anthology Film 
Archives (32 2nd Ave, NYC) and are tree 
and open to the public on a tirst-come, 
first-served basis. Check in at www.aivf org 
or www.nyuff.com for complete details. 



smsv 

AIVF at SXSW: 
PITCHING TO THE PROS: THE ART OF 
VERBALLY SELLING YOUR PROJECT 

South By Southwest Film Festival and 
Conference (March 8-17) 

Part panel discussion, part practice -pitch 
session, AIVF's Pitching to the Pros takes 



an in-depth look at how to perfect your 
pitch, illustrating how producers can put 
their best foot forward when orally pre- 
senting their non-fiction concept or pro- 
ject to commissioning editors and acquisi- 
tions executives. 

Audience members will learn the do's and 
don'ts of delivering their own project 
ideas from advice offered by industry' rep- 
resentatives and by also hearing their 
peers publicly pitch their projects for cri- 
tique and discussion. 

Five producers attending SXSW have been 
pre-selected to pitch their projects, which 
will then he critiqued before industry' reps I 
and a \-iewing audience. The focus is on 
the pitch, rather than on the project per 
se, allowing the audience to glean unique 
insight in to the pitch process, and learn for 
themselves how best to capture the attention 
and confidence of industry professionals. 

Details will be posted at www.aivf org. 

For more information on the South By 
Southwest Film Festival and Conference: 
www.sxsw.com. 

Documentary Dialogues: 
FLYING SOLO OR BIKING IN TANDEM? 

When: Tues., March 12, 6:30-8:30 p.m. 
Wine & Goldfish reception til 9:30 p.m. 
Where: AIVF office 
Cost: $5 members; $20 general public 

Is it worth learning how to do everything? 
Is it really less expensive? And if you 
decide to join forces, where can you find 
qualified people with your same enthusi- 
asm and commitment. If you direct, shoot 
and edit your film all alone or you have a 
court that does it for you... come and share 
the advantages and disadvantages of 
either modality- of making your documen- 
taries. 

Hosted by AIVF member and filmmaker, 
Fernanda Rossi. 



60 THE INDEPENDENT March 2002 




In Brief: 

PRODUCERS' LEGAL 

SERIES 

Back by popular demand, 
AIVF continues our legal 
series for die independent pro- 
ducer. Led by entertainment attorney, Innes 
Gumnitsky of Cowan, DeBaets, Abrahams 
&. Sheppard, these sessions present defin- 
itions, dos and don'ts, and invaluable 
advice within the legal spectrum of inde- 
pendent film. 

March 14: 

Film Financing: Private Offerings 

March 28: 

Film Financing: International 

Coproductions «& Cable Television 

Tickets are $20/AIVF members; 
$30/nonmembers per session. 
All sessions take place at the AIVF office 
from 6:30-8:30 p.m. 

Future topics will include: 

April: Production Legal Issues 

May: Distribution Deals 

AIVF co-sponsors: 
DOCSHOP 

Two New Profiles 

(Martin Scorsese and Jane Campion) 
by Albert Maysles 

When: Tues., March. 19th 
Where: Reception at 7 p.m.. Den of Cin, 
Two Boots Video (44 Ave. A at 3rd St) 
Screening and filmmaker discussion at 
8 p.m., Pioneer Theater (155 E 3rd St.) 
Cost: $8.50 general public, $6 students 
& seniors 

Tickets: 212/668-1575; www.docfest.org 

The New York Documentary Center, pre- 
senter of docfest, continues this monthly 
series. Following the screening, the direc- 
tor will discuss the art and craft of docu- 
mentary making with the audience. 

Legendary documentarian Albert Maysles 
{Grey Gardens, Gimme Shelter) will screen 
two brand new 30-minute profiles of film 
giants Martin Scorsese and Jane Campion. 

These biographic shorts are segments of a 
larger series, which Maysles created for 
The Independent Film Channel. 



The Foundation for Independent Video and Film (FIVF), the educational affiliate 
of the Association for Independent Video and Filmmakers (AIVF), supports a 

variety of programs and services for the 
independent media community, including 



EZSZ 



j!iLX«rxz:ss 



publication of The Independent and a series of resource publications, seminars 
and workshops, and information services. 

None of this work would be possible without the generous support of the AIVF 
membership and the following organizations: 

^0 



vJC' 



□ 



The Academy Foundation 

The Mary Duke Biddle Foundation 

The Chase Manhattan Foundation 

Forest Creatures Entertainment, Inc. 



The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation 

The John D. and Catherine T 
MacArthur Foundation 

The National Endowment for the Arts 

New York State Council on the Arts 



We also wish to thank the following individuals and organizational members: 

Business/Industry Members: CA: Actlon/Cut Directed By seminars; Attaboc LLC; 
Busk Entertainment, LLC; Calliope Films, Inc.; Eastman Kodak Co.; Film Society of Ventura County; 
Forest Creatures Entertainment Co.; Groovy Like a Movie; HBO; The Hollywood Reporter; Moonshadow 
Production & Research; MPRM; SJPL Films, Ltd.; CO: The Crew Connection; Inferno Film Productions; 
FL: Bakus Internatinal, Inc/ Odysseas Entertainment, Inc.; Burn Productions; IL: Buzzbait; Rock Valley 
College; Wiggle Puppy Productions; Wonderdog Media; MA: CS Associates; Glidecam Industries; MD: The 
Learning Channel; U.S. Independents, Inc.; Ml: Grace & Wild Studios, Inc.; Kingberry Productions, Inc.; 
MN: Allies; Media/Art; NJ: DIVA Communications, Inc.; NY: AKQ Communications, Ltd.; American Montage; 
Analog Digital Intl., Inc.; Black Bird Post; Bluestocking Films, Inc.; Bravo Film and Video; The Bureau 
for At-Risk Youth; C-Hundred Film Corporation; Cineblast! Prods.; Corra Films; Cypress Films; 
Dependable Delivery, Inc.; Docurama; Dr. Reiff and Assoc.; Earth Video; Field Hand Productions, Inc.; 
Guerilla News Network; Highdrama Productions Inc.; Historic Films Archive; Jalapeno Media; Lighthouse 
Creative, Inc.; MacKenzie Culter, Inc.; Mad Mad Judy; Mercer Street Sound; Metropolis Film Lab Inc.; 
Mixed Greens; New Rican Filmmaker; New York Independent Film School; One Kilohertz; The Outpost; 
Partisan Pictures; Paul Dinatale Post, Inc.; Persona Films; Post Typhoon Sky Inc.; Seahorse Films; Son 
Vida Pictures, LLC; Suitcase Productions; Swete Studios; Wolfen Prods.; PA: Cubist Post & Effects; 
Smithtown Creek Prods.; TX: Upstairs Media Inc.; UT: KBYU-TV; Rapid Video, LLC; VA: Dorst MediaWorks; 
Roland House, Inc.; WV: Harpers Ferry Center Library. 

Nonprofit Members: AL: sidewalk Moving picture Fest.; AZ: Scottsdale Community Coll.; U of 
Central Arkansas/ Channel 6 Television; CA: Antelope Valley Independent Film Festival; California Newsreel; 
Filmmakers Alliance; International Buddhist Film Festival; Itvs; Los Angeles Film Commission; Media 
Fund; NAATA; Ojai Film Soc; Reach LA.; San Francisco Jewish Film Fest.; USC School of Cinema TV; FL: 
Manatee Community College; GA: Image Film & Video Center; HI: U. of Hawaii Outreach College; ID: Center 
for School Improvement; IL; Art Institute of Chicago/Video Data Bank; Community TV Network; PBS 
Midwest; Rock Valley Coll.; Roxie Media Corporation; KY: Appalshop; MA: CCTV; Documentary Educational 
Resources; Long Bow Group Inc.; Lowell Telecommunications Corp.; LTC Communications; Projectile Arts; 
Somerville Community TV; MD: Laurel Cable Network; Ml: Ann Arbor Film Fest.; MN: Intermedia Arts; Walker 
Arts Center; IFP North; MO: Webster University Film Series; NC: Cucaloris Film Foundation; Doubletake 
Documentary Film Fest.; Duke University-Film and Video; NE: Great Plains Film Festival; Nebraska 
Independent Film Proj., Inc.; Ross Film Theater, UN/Lincoln; NJ: Black Maria Film Festival; College of NJ/ 
Dept. of Communication Studies; reat Vision Filmwork, Inc.; NM: Taos Talking Pictures; NY: American 
Museum of Natural History; Art 21; Cinema Arts Center; Communications Society; Cornell Cinema; Council 
for Positive Images, Inc.; Creative Capital Foundation; Dependable Delivery; Donnell Media Center; 
Downtown Community TV; Film Forum; Film Society of Lincoln Center; Globalvision, Inc.; John Jay High 
School; Konscious, Inc.; Listen Up!; Manhattan Neighborhood Network; National Black Programming 
Consortium; National Foundation for Jewish Culture; National Video Resources; NW&D Inc.; NYU TV 
Center; New York Women in Film and TV; OVO, Inc.; School of Visual Arts; Squeaky Wheel; Standby 
Program; Stanton Crenshaw Communication; Stony Brook Film Festival; Thirteen/WNET; Upstate Films, 
Ltd.; Women Make Movies; OH: Cleveland Filmmakers; Greater Cincinnati & Northern Kentucky Film 
Commission; Media Bridges Cincinnati; Ohio Independent Film Fest; Ohio University/Film; OR: Media Arts, 
MHCC; PA: PA Council on the Arts; Carnegie Museum of Art; Prince Music Theater; Scribe Video Center; 
Temple University; University of the Arts; WYBE Public TV 35; Rl: Flickers Arts Collaborative; SC: South 
Carolina Arts Commission; TN: Nashville Independent Film Fest; TX: Austin Cinemaker Co-op; Austin Film 
Society; Michener Center for Writers; Southwest Alternate Media Project; WA: Seattle Central Community 
College; Wl: UWM Dept. of Film; Wisconsin Film Office; Canada: Toronto Documentary Forum/Hot Does; 
France: The Camargo Foundation; Germany: International Shorts Film Festival; India: Foundation for Universal 
Responsibility; Peru: Guarango Cine y Video; Singapore: Ngee Ann Polytechnic Library 

FrienCiS of FIVF: Ullses Arlstldes, Bakus international, Michael Bernstein, Barbara Baxter- 
Brooks, Hugo M.J. Cassirer, Chris Deaux, Arthur Dong, Aaron Edison, Christopher Farina, Suzanne Griffin, 
Christopher Gomersall, Patricia Goudvis, Leigh Hanlon, Robert L. Hawk, Henrietta Productions, Jewish 
Communal Fund, John Kavanaugh, Laura Kim, Bart Lawson, Michelle Lebrun, Elizabeth Mane, Diane 
Markrow, Sheila Nevins, William Payden, PKXH, Possible Films, Mary Smith, Diana Takata, Rhonda 
Leigh Tanzman, Mark Vanbork 



March 2002 THE INDEPENDENT 61 



■ yi^Jiij'-: 



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Meet & Greet: 
PRODUCERS REPS & CONSULTANTS 

When: Thurs., March 21, 6:30-8:30 p.m. 

Where: AIVF office 

Cost: $5 AIVF members; $20 general 

What exactly is a producer's rep and why 
might you need one? Find out from a 
handful of local reps and consultants what 
services they offer the independent film- 
maker in trying to sell their film. Panelists 
include consultant Bob Hawk, and pro- 
ducers' reps Steven Beer (Rudolph and 
Beer) and Micah Green (Cinetic). 

, . 

NEW MASTER CLASS SERIES 

AIVF presents a new series offering invaluable 
tools and information to help develop the film- 
maker's craft. Each session includes an in-depth 
glimpse into a specific film or project as relayed 
by the producers and directors who created 
them, followed by break-out sessions which 
allow the attendees to share information via 
exercises with their peers. Details will be avail- 
able at www.aivf.org and will be included in our 
March events calendar. 

s y 



«> m 



FBS 



Corporation 
for Public 
Brood casting 



Call for Proposals: 

5TH ANNUAL PITCH TO PUBLIC 

TELEVISION 

Let AIVF help you get your foot in the 
door! Pre-selected AIVF members will 
meet with greenlighting staff from the 
National PBS and CPB offices to discuss 
their projects in-depth, receive valuable 
feedback, and explore the project's broad- 
cast possibilities. 

Sesions are scheduled for Friday, June 7 
beginning at 10 a.m. at AIVF's NYC 
office. Note: selected producers are 
responsible for their own travel and 
accommodations. 

For complete submission details, log on to 
www.aivforg or contact 212-807-1400 
x507 to have an application packet sent 
to you by mail. 

In-Office Deadline: Fri., March 22. 



AIVF Co-Sponsors: 

SELECT SCREENINGS 

AT THE WALTER READE THEATRE, NYC 

Presented by the 
Film Society of Lincoln Center 

AIVF members may attend specific films 
for just $5 per ticket! Please show mem- 
bership card at box office. 

The Walter Reade Theatre is located at Lincoln 
Centei; 165 W 65th Street at Broadway in 
NYC. For more info, contact the Film Society of 
Lincoln Center box office at 212/875-5600 or 
www.filmlinc.com. 

March Programs: 

March 1 - 7: 

Sergio Bianchi Retrospective 

March 8 -17: 

Rendezvous with French Cinema 2002 

March 18: 

Golden Silents presents 

Short Films from France 

March 20-28: 

Joris Ivens Retrospective 



www.S T U D I 4 J.com 



Independent Post Production in 

the East Village 



Combustion 
After l^ftccts 



a i > ►► 



Aleg Hartley, Editor 



STUDIO 4 J 



► Video for Art's Sake 
T + f: (2 1 2) 254-1 1 06 E:stu 




www.mbnyc.com 



135 West 20th Street N.Y., NY 10011 
Tel: 212-242-0444 Fax: 212-242-4419 



cd-rom duplication and mastering 
video duplication and transfers 
production services and editing 
dvd encoding, authoring and burning 
video encoding for the internet and cd-rom 

Film Festival Special - 20 VHS tapes w/sleeves & labels - $99 
DVD disk: $200/1st minute, $10 each additional minute 




THE EDIT CENTER 



Become a Final Cut Pro Editor: 

Six-Week Courses and Weekend Intensives 



"The Edit Center has been offering budding editors 
a way to get hands-on experience in postproduction 
in a fraction of the time..." 

The Independent Film & Video Monthlv 

45 E 3Dth St 11th Fl New York NYiooiB Tel 212 252 0910 www.theeditcenter.com 



G2THE INDEPENDENT March 2002 



The AIVF Regional Salons provide opportunity 
for members to discuss work, meet other inde- 
pendents, share war stories, and connect with 
the AIVF community across the country. Visit 
the Regional Salons section at www.aivf.org for 
more details. 

Albany/Troy, NY: Upstate Independents 

When: First Tuesday of the month, 6:30 pm 
Where: Capital District Arts Ctr., Troy, NY 
Contact: Jeff Burns, (518) 283-7378 
jeff_burns23@yahoo.com 
www. upstateindependents .org 

Atlanta, GA: IMAGE 

When: Second Tuesday of the month, 7 pm 
Where: Redlight Cafe, 553 Amsterdam Ave. 
Contact: Mark Smith, (404) 352-4225 xl2 
www.imagefv.org 

Austin, TX: Austin Film Society 

When: Last Monday of the month, 7 pm 
Contact: Anne del Castillo, (512) 507-8105 
labc@att.net, www.austinfilm.org 

Birmingham, AL: 

When: First Tuesday of the month 

Where: Production Plus, 2910 Crescent Ave., 

Homewood, AL 

Contact: Clay Keith, ckeithl000@yahoo.com 

Karen Scott, WScott9268@aol.com, 

(205) 663-3802 

Boston, MA: 

Contact: Fred Simon, (781) 784-3627 
FSimon@aol.com 



The Revival of an AIVF Salon 



Boulder, CO: "Films for Change" 

When: First Tues., 7 pm 

Where: Boulder Public Library, 1000 Arapahoe 

Contact: Patricia Townsend, (303) 442-8445 

patricia@freespeech.org 

Charleston, SC: 

When: Last Thursday of the month, 6:30pm 

Where: Charleston County Library, 

68 Calhoun St. 

Contact: Peter Paolini, (843) 805-6841; 

Peter Wentworth, filmsalon@aol.com 

Cleveland, OH: 

Ohio Independent Film Festival 

Contact: Annetta Marion or Bemadette Gillota, 
(216) 651-7315, OhiolndieFilmFest@juno.com 
www.ohiofilms.com 

Dallas, TX: Video Association of Dallas 

Contact: Bart Weiss, (214) 428-8700, 
bart@videofest.org 

Edison, NJ: 

Contact: Allen Chou, (732) 321-0711 

allen@passionriver.com, www.passionriver.com 

Houston, TX: SWAMP 

When: Last Tuesday of the month, 6:30pm 

Where: SWAMR 1519 West Main 

Contact: (713) 522-8592, swamp@swamp.org 

Huntsville, AL: 

Where: McClellan's Studios for the 
Dramatic Arts 
Contact: Charles White, 
charles .white @ tdsi. com 

Detailed salon information is posted 
on the web! Visit www.aivf.org 



Seattle has long had a thriving local film and video community. Organizations such 
as 911 Media Arts Center, Northwest Film Forum (Wiggly World), and Cinema Seattle 
(Seattle International Film Festival) offer a wealth of resources to the Seattle 
independent film community. The Seattle AIVF salon (the newly formed Seattle Indie 
Network) will further contribute by helping local film and videomakers tap into the 
educational, production, financing, and distribution resources AIVF introduces to its 
members. Serious-minded film and videomakers, excited to have AIVF back in 
Seattle, attended the salon's first meeting in December, eager to discuss the mission 
of the new salon. 

The Seattle Indie Network's first point of agenda is already underway. Governor Locke 
has presented the draft state budget, which at this time cuts all funds for the 
Washington State Film Office. The Film Office will be closed effective June 2002 
without the rally and support of film- and videomakers throughout the nation. Oddly, 
the decision comes at a time when major film productions have begun to soar in the 
state of Washington. If you are interested in learning more about the salon, or how to 
help put the Film Office back in the budget, please contact Seattle Indie Network 
Co-Directors Heather Ayres at mybluesun@hotmail.com and Jane Selle Morgan at 
Jane@HeroPictures.com. 



Lincoln, NE: Nebraska Ind. Film Project 

When: Second Wednesday, 5:30 pm 
Where: Telepro, 1844 N Street 
Contact: Jared Minary, 
mediaarts33@yahoo.com 
www.lincolnne.com/nonprofit/nifp 

Los Angeles, CA: EZTV 

When: Third Monday of the month, 7:30 pm 
Where: EZTV, 1653 18th St., Santa Monica 
Contact: Michael Masucci, (310) 829-3389 
mmasucci@aol.com 

Milwaukee, WI: 

Milwaukee Independent Film Society 

When: First Wednesday of the month, 7pm 
Where: Milwaukee Enterprise Center, 
2821 North 4th, Room 140 
Contact: Dan Wilson, (414) 276-8563 
www. mifs . org/s alon 

Portland, OR: 

Contact: Beth Harrington, (503) 223-0407 
betuccia@aol.com 

Rochester, NY: 

When: First Wednesday of the month, 7pm 

(Subject to change; call to confirm schedule) 

Where: Visual Studies Workshop 

Contact: Kate Kressmann-Kehoe, 

(716) 244-8629, ksk@netacc.net 

San Diego, CA: 

Contact: Ethan van Thillo, (619) 230-1938 
aivf@mediaartscenter.org 

Seattle, WA: 

Contact: Heather Ayres, (206) 297-0933 
mybluesun@hotmail.com; Jane Selle Morgan 
(206) 915-6263, jane@heropictures.com 

South Florida: 

Contact: Dominic Giannetti, (561) 313-0330 

themoviebiz@hotmail.com 

www.moviebiz.info 

Tucson, AZ: 

When: First Monday of the month, 6pm 
Where: Access Tucson, 124 E. Broadway 
Contact: Rosarie Salerno, 
yourdestiny@mindspring.com 

Washington, DC: 

Contact: Joe Torres, jatvelez@hotmail.com 
DC Salon hotline (202) 554-3263 x 4, 
aivfdcsalonsubscribe@yahoogroups.com 



Be sure to contact your local Salon Leader to con- 
firm date, time, and location of the next meeting! 

Salons are run by AIVF members, often in associa- 
tion with local partners. AIVF has resources to 
assist enthusiastic and committed members who 
wish to start a salon in their own community! 
Please call (212) 807-1400x236 or e-mail 
members@aivf.org for information! 



March 2002 THE INDEPENDENT 63 



Essential Resources for 
Independent Video and Filmmakers 




AlVF's top selling reference: All New Edition! 

The AIVF Guide to 

International Film and Video Festivals 

edited by Michelle Coe $35 / $25 AIVF members plus shipping and handling. 

Up-to-date profiles of over 900 Film & Video Festivals, with complete contact and deadline information. 
First published in 1982, AlVF's Festival Guide is the most established and trusted source of information 
and inside views of film and video festivals around the world. Supplemented by selected reprints from 
The Independent's Festival Circuit column, profiling over 40 festivals in-depth from the filmmaker's 
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on shorts seemed like a refreshing way to 
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like about shorts? The theme encompasses 
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WHO'S MINDING THE SHOP? 

Media Giants Cast Aside Regulatory Oversight 



BY Rachel Coen and Peter Hart 



As we sent this issue to press, the telecommu- 
nications policy landscape was changing day 
by day. The following is reprinted from a 
March I report by Fairness and Accuracy in 
Reporting; things have undoubtable contin- 
ued to change, so please visit www.aivf.org 
and www.fairorg for breaking news. 

February 26 the District of Columbia 
Court of Appeals overturned one of the 
country's last-remaining regulatory pro- 
tections against media monopoly, and 
ordered the review of another. 

The court overturned the rule that had 
prevented one company from owning 
both television stations and cable fran- 
chises in a single market. The court also 
ordered that the FCC either justify or 
rewrite the rule that bars a company from 
owning television stations which reach 
more than 35 percent of U.S. households, 
stating that as is, the rule is arbitrary and 
illegal. Both rulings were in response to a 
suit filed by Fox, AOL Time Warner, NBC 
and Viacom. 

The court called the 35 percent TV 
ownership cap arbitrary, saying that the 
FCC hadn't provided proof that such a 
restriction was necessary. As for the 
broadcast- cable cross -ownership rule, the 
court claimed that the increased number 
of TV stations today and the competition 
from the proliferation of new services like 
satellite TV make the rule outdated 
and unnecessary to protect diversity 
{Broadcasting & Cable, 2/19/02). 

Most news coverage echoed the broad- 
cast industry's perspective, portraying the 
rules as ancient relics that the FCC was 
using to hold back vital new media com- 
panies. The New York Times (2/20/02), for 
instance, described the station ownership 
cap as having its antecedents in the 1940s 
and being "rooted in the fears of the 



European experience at the time that the 
television industry in the United States 
could come to be dominated by a few 
powerful interests." 

References to "decades-old ownership 
restrictions" were common in mainstream 
coverage, giving a misleading impression of 
an industry constrained by "old" laws. The 
station ownership cap has been much 
revised since the '40s, when networks could 
only own three stations apiece. The numer- 
ical limit was increased a number of times 
over the years and finally eliminated by the 
Telecommunications Act of 1996, which 
allowed a network to own enough stations 
to reach 35 percent of the audience. 

As one unusually frank article on 
Forbes.com pointed out (2/20/02), the 
idea that the government has been trying 
to keep media giants down is a myth. The 
FCC has been granting exemptions from 
ownership rules for years: "Pundits 
claimed that the court ruling 'opens the 
door' for a new wave of mergers among 
cable television conglomerates and broad- 
cast companies," wrote Forbes, "But when 
was that door ever closed? Media compa- 
nies have been merging with abandon for 
the last decade, rules or no rules." 

What kind of changes can viewers 
expect from this latest round of deregula- 
tion? The New York Times enumerated a 
few: the bigger, more powerful networks 
created might gain "leverage over smaller 
stations" and force them to eliminate local 
programming to make room for network 
shows; networks could buy "syndicated pro- 
grams, like 'Judge Judy'" on better terms; 
and networks would be free to increase cross 
promotion. "For example," explained the 
Times, "the more stations NBC owns the 
more times it can promote the 'Tonight' 
show in the late local newscast" (2/21/02). 
None of this suggests the increased diver- 



sity of offerings that media companies fre- 
quently promise when seeking the elimi- 
nation of ownership regulations. 

Several public interest groups — includ- 
ing Consumers Union, Consumer 
Federation of America, Media Access 
Project, Center for Digital Democracy, 
and the Civil Rights Forum — recently 
filed a joint comment with the FCC in 
support of maintaining ownership restric- 
tions (see www.democraticmedia.org). 
They point out that "among broadcast 
TV markets, one-seventh are monopolies, 
one-quarter are duopolies, one-half are 
tight oligopolies, and the rest are moder- 
ately concentrated." The groups also 
noted that while the number of TV sta- 
tions has increased from 952 to 1,678 
between 1975 and 2000, the number of 
station owners has actually declined from 
543 to 360 in the same period (TV 
Technology.com, 2/6/02). 

The relaxation in ownership rules seems 
to have generated some opposition in 

mmmmmmmmmmmmammmmmmmmmKmmmmmmmmi 

Media companies have 
been merging with 
abandon for the last 
decade, rules or no rules. 

Congress — Senate Commerce Committee 
Chair Ernest Hollings plans to hold a hear- 
ing on the issue in March {Electronic Media, 
2/27/02)— but not much at the FCC. 

If the FCC wanted to stand up for the 
public, the agency could appeal the deci- 
sion to the Supreme Court. It could also, 
as the appeals court suggested, muster 
new evidence to justify the ownership 
cap. But neither course seems likely, given 
the deregulatory zeal of FCC chair 
Michael Powell, who once declared that 
"the oppressor here is regulation" and has 
said that he has "no idea" what the public 
interest is {Extra!, 9-10/01). 

The FCC's lackluster response suggests 
that the agency has forsaken its mission of 
safeguarding the public interest, and is 
prepared to allow corporations to redraw 
the media landscape as they please with 
little or no public debate. 

Rachel Coen and Peter Hart are media analysts 

with FAIR (Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting), 

a national media bias and censorship watch group. 

For more information, to subscribe to FAIR's 

publication Extra!, or to register for 

email action alerts, visit www.fairorg 



April 2002 THE INDEPENDENT 7 



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The AIVF Guide to International Film and Video Festivals 

I Coe, ed.; ©2001; $35 / $25 members 



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The AIVF Film and Video Self-Distribution Toolkit 

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Anthology Film Archives 
Plans Library Construction 



Anthology Film Archives, the avant- 
garde and independent film museum in 
New York City is moving forward with 
plans for construction of an archival 
library. Founded by filmmaker Jonas 
Mekas in 1970, most film buffs probably 
recognize Anthology as a great movie 
house that offers retrospectives on film- 
makers such as Werner Herzog, a New 
Filmmakers screening series, and is home 
to film festivals like The New York 
Underground Film Festival and MIX New 
York Experimental Lesbian & Gay Film 
and Video Festival. 

However, the very same building at 32 
Second Ave. also houses the largest col- 
lection of film, paper, photo and video 




BY James Israel 

materials in the world on avant-garde and 
independent cinema, including books, 
periodicals, photographs, posters, tapes of 
lectures and interviews, festival catalogs, 
scripts, photographs and stills. Currently 
the material is available to the public by 
appointment only in Anthology's closed 
stack library. 

The new library will be next to Anthology's 
current location. Plans are for a five story 
building with a ground level cafe (open to 
the public and a great space to hang out 
before a screening) and three floors to 
house the library holdings and study 
areas. The top floor will be the new home 
for Anthology's administrative offices. 
Fundraising for the new building start- 
ed in 1998 with a benefit fea- 
turing Patti Smith. Anthology 
is still in the fundraising stage, 
but has raised $65,000 for the 
city permits. 

"The project has been 
revived in an earnest way," 
says John Mhiripiri, director of 
administration. "Jonas sees 
the library as the finishing 
touch to the project he started 
31 years ago." 

For more information 
please contact Anthology at 
(212) 505-5181 or visit 
www.anthologyfllmarchives.org. 



Design for Anthology's planned 
Archival Library by Austrian 
architect Raimund Abraham, who 
designed interior of current 
building and recently, the award- 
winning design for the Austrian 
Cultural Institute in New York City. 

Top: The Archive as envisioned. 

Bottom: The Archive as it will 
relate to current structure. 




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BUFFALO-BASED 
SQUEALER RETURNS 

Squeaky Wheel, the membership 
organization that provides equip- 
ment, workshops and screening 
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in intellectual discussion and 
debate," say editors Stephanie 
Gray and Kara Olidge. Past 
issues of The Squealer magazine . 
had filmmaker interviews, '* 
reviews of media art and avant- 
garde films, and art pages. There 
is an open call for articles for the maga- 
zine but writers should first pitch their 
stories to Squealer. For more information: 
www.squeaky.org; office@squeaky.org 

BMG OFFERS EASY ACCESS 
FOR LICENSING MUSIC 

BMG Music Publishing, one of the 
largest music publishing groups in the 
world, has launched a global online search 
engine for filmmakers. Users can search 
data on over 700,000 copyrights ranging 
from Verdi to Elvis Costello. Users seek- 
ing pop music can search across 12 cate- 
gories including acoustic, country, and hip 
hop and can choose from 22 moods such as 
corporate/motivational and summer/beach. 
Users can also preview a track and get a 
rate for licensing the music. "With such a 
huge catalog, with music ranging from big 
hits to production music, a filmmaker can 
find music to suit his or her project, what- 
ever the budget," says BMG. See 
www.bmgmusicsearch.com. 




BRITISH FILM GROUPS 
TEAM UP TO EXAMINE 
CINEMA STRATEGIES 

"A Better Picture" is the title of a new 
proposal advocated by the bfi Exhibition 
Development Unit and managed by the 
British Eilm Council. The film organiza- 
tions have developed a vision for three 
interlocking programs to develop special- 
ized distribution, cinema education, and 
cinema exhibition. Their work has been 
informed by extensive studies of e-cinema 
and international models of support and 
distribution, an examination of cinema 
education practice, and an invitation for 
public comment (which closed March 3). 
"Direct intervention is crucial in order to 
generate change within the sector at a 
structural level, and to meet vital, cultur- 
al, social, and educational objectives," 
begins the report on specialized distribu- 
tion models. The full proposals as well as 
the reports are available for download at 
www.filmcouncil.org.uk/filmindustry. 



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April 2002 THE INDEPENDENT 11 




Years before Stacy Peralta ever picked 
up a camera, he was defying gravity on a 
skateboard. He began skating at the age of 
five and went on to become one of the 
sport's legends. He didn't know it at the 
time, but it was good preparation for film- 
making. In his documentary Dogtown and 
Z'Boys, Peralta draws 
on the same energy 
and flair that he once 
brought to skate- 
boarding. 

Narrated by Sean 
Penn, this multi- 
award-winning film 
takes an insider's look 
at the birth of modern 
skateboarding. It fol- 
lows a gang of surfers 
who emerged in the 
mid-1970s from 

Dogtown, a rundown 
section of Santa 
Monica and Venice, 
California. These out- 
casts were known as 
Z-Boys, named for the 
Zephyr Surf Shop that 
provided them refuge. 
When the waves were f 
low, they took their 
skateboards to canyon 
playgrounds and rode 
the paved hills as if they were ocean 
waves. Then, when a drought dried up 
hundreds of LA-area swimming pools, the 
Z-Boys made the best of it. They tres- 
passed into backyards and rode the con- 
crete pools with a bravado and style that 
took the sport in a new direction. 

Written and directed by Peralta, one of 
the original Z-Boys, Dogtown shows how a 
bunch of hard-knocks kids unintentional- 
ly created a cultural phenomenon. 
"When I grew up, we were constantly told 
that skateboarding was a vandalistic, los- 
ing activity that was never going to get 
any of us anywhere," Peralta recalls. "But 
it was something that we really loved 
doing and that we stuck with. The film is 



a validation of that, because people are 
looking at it saying, 'Wow, this is really 
something; this is an American story.'" 

Peralta originally wanted the story to be 
made as an independent fiction film, until 
Hollywood came calling, hoping to buy 
his life rights for their fictional version. "I 
was so pissed off that they wanted to come 
in and do it," he says. "And then it 
occurred to me, 'Let them do their film; 
we'll do the documentary.'" So he pitched 
the idea to producer Agi Orsi, who 
secured a $400,000 budget from Vans, the 
shoe and apparel manufacturer and a 
longtime supporter of skateboarding. 



Stacy Peralta 



Dogtown and Z-Boys 



BY Daniel Steinhart 



Dogtown and Z-Boys 
filmmaker, and one of 
the original Z-Boys, 
Stacy Peralta. 




Peralta says that the company gave him 
complete creative freedom. Their only 
demand was that he shoot, edit, and 
deliver the film within six months. 

With the help of a private detective, 
Peralta tracked down most of the old 
Dogtowners. Two of them, photojournal- 
ists Craig Stecyk and Glen E. Friedman, 
served as the film's co-writer and co-pro- 
ducer, respectively. Their original pho- 
tographs and home movies, which had 
captured the Dogtown skate scene from 
its beginnings, help the film recreate the 
era's pivotal events. Peralta was interested 
in experimenting with the original mater- 
ial. "I didn't want to make a typical, 
methodical documentary," he says. "I 



wanted to approach a photograph differ- 
ently than the way a traditional documen- 
tary does, which is normally to start with 
a wide shot of the photo and do a nice 
gradual push into a close-up. I thought, 
'Let's photograph it from different angles. 
Let's speed it up and make it different.'" 

Dogtown's unpolished sensibility 
derives from its embrace of technical mis- 
takes. In one of the movie's funniest 
scenes, Sean Penn flubs his voice-over. 
The mistake could have been left on the 
cutting room floor; but left in the film it 
feels true to the spirit of the subject mat- 
ter. "Skateboarding is an imperfect activi- 
ty," Peralta says, "Part of the skateboard- 
ing experience is falling a lot, so the film 
was a reflection of that. Skateboarding is 
an activity where anything goes. You're 
constantly shifting your focus and impro- 
vising. The film seemed to want to be told 
that way." 

One of the major challenges for the 
director was incorporating his own life 
into the story. "I didn't want it in the film 
because I felt that it would come across as 
too self-congratulatory," he explains. "But 
when Skip Engblom [co-owner of the 
Zephyr Surf Shop] saw the first cut, he 
pulled me aside and said, 'Why didn't you 
put in that stuff about you? By not doing 
that, you're rewriting history.' When I got 
his blessing, it was like, 'Okay, the godfa- 
ther has blessed me. I can do this.'" 

After his skating career, Peralta co- 
founded his own skateboard manufactur- 
ing business, Powell-Peralta. As a way for 
the company to reach out to its cus- 
tomers, he produced The Bones Brigade 
Video Show, which launched a skate-video 
revolution. Peralta taught himself film- 
making by shooting and editing the 
\-ideos. He then went on to serve as a sec- 
ond unit director of skateboard action 
sequences in Hollywood movies. 

Looking back upon the long road fiom 
his Dogtown days, Peralta says that now is 
the right time to tell his stor>'. "You get to 
a point in your life where you ask yourself, 
'What was real in my life.'' Well, that time 
was very real. It was precious. It was 
uncorrupted." 

Sony Pictures Classics will release 
Dogtown and Z-Boys on April 26 in the 
United States. 



Daniel Steinhart is a freelance icriter ■§ 
living in Brooklyn, NY °- 



12 THE INDEPENDENT April 2002 



Jon Alpert has done a lot of stufr The 
award-winning reporter and video pro- 
ducer has traveled the globe to bring 
exclusive reports on many of the world's 
political hot spots. He was often the first 
reporter to gain access to Cuba, Vietnam, 
Cambodia, Nicaragua, Iran, and Afghanistan 
at tumultuous 

moments. He pro- 
duced breaking news 
stories with his inves- 
tigations in the 
Philippines, the for- 
mer Soviet Union, 
China, and Iraq. He 
interviewed Fide 
Castro and Saddam 
Hussein. Domestically, 
he brought national 
attention to the 
homeless epidemic, 
environmental prob- 
lems, and other 
important social and 
economic issues. He 
pioneered the use of the one -person ENG 
crew, and he produced a series of critical- 
ly acclaimed documentaries for HBO. As 
if that wasn't enough, for 30 years he and 
his wife, Keiko Tsuno, have been running 
the Downtown Community Television 
Center (DCTV), one of the largest and 
most respected community media centers 
in the country. 

"I've spent many years at the forefront 
of news events," says Alpert from DCTV's 
converted firehouse in New York's 
Chinatown. "But our community projects 
are in some ways maybe more important." 

DCTV began in 1972 in a loft on Canal 
Street, a stone's throw from its current 
location. Alpert and Tsuno parked a mail 
truck equipped with TV sets outside on 
the street and showed short videos deal- 
ing with pressing community issues. 
"Some of the tapes," Alpert says, "actual- 
ly effected change in the community and 
were used to get better staffing of local 
schools, to have community input into 
local hospitals, and to create fair elections 
for the school boards." 

A few years later, they started a youth 
program in response to budget cuts in the 
city's educational system. "We didn't 
think it was fair that these kids who were 
motivated and wanted to do well in 
school didn't have any type of electives," 
Alpert recalls. "So we walked into Lower 



East Side Prep and said, 'Here we are. 
We've got a Portapak. We'll teach the 
kids.' And they said, 'Okay.'" 

Since then DCTV has taught video- 
making to hundreds of inner city youth 
that have participated in production 
workshops and media literacy programs. 
These young media makers 
have won numerous awards for 
their productions, and have 



Jon Alpert 

Downtown Community Television 



Daniel Steinhart 




Jon Alpert and his dog. The former fire station that 
houses Alpert's Downtown Community Television. 



gone onto higher education and employ- 
ment. "I think one of the most rewarding 
things we do is that we give these kids a 
chance," Alpert says. "If we went over the 
thumbnail biographies of our most suc- 
cessful students, you'd be inspired." 

In addition, DCTV offers programs 
that serve the elderly and people with dis- 
abilities. They also provide low-cost video 
training workshops and equipment rentals 
to independent filmmakers. 

One of the newest additions to the 
media center is the CyberStudio, a multi- 
camera, state-of-the-art studio with cable 
TV and web capabilities. Having spent 
years face to face with his documentary 
subjects, Alpert was initially hesitant 
about building a studio. "A studio takes 
you away from the people," he says. 
"You're not out on the streets. You're just 
somebody talking in a chair. I didn't want 
to do that. But then we began thinking, 
'What if we could make it interactive?' 
We figured out that the Internet could be 
a useful tool to help our community in the 
same way that portable video equipment 
was." The broadband studio allows pro- 
ducers to stream programs to the web in 
real-time, as well as to allow viewers to 



participate via the Internet. 

Spearheaded by program director 
Matthew O'Neill, the CyberStudio broad- 
casts a series of cultural programs, like 
Live From Downtovun, an interactive cable 
TV and web show that features perfor- 
mances by New York's downtown artists. 
DCTV also rents the CyberStudio to out- 
side groups for talk shows, community 
forums, and performances. Community 
activists have been using the studio to 
produce and broadcast Amy Goodman's 
Democracy Now public affairs program. 

With its comprehensive video facilities, 
DCTV supports Alpert's ongoing docu- 
mentary work. In recent years, his work 
has received strong backing from HBO. 
Sheila Nevins, executive VP of original 
programming at HBO, calls Alpert "a 
video genius." "He's rebellious in the way 
he interprets reality," she says. "He does- 
n't just record it; he turns it upside down 
and inside out. Without ever being on 
camera, he's really more of a social com- 
mentator than probably any other docu- 
mentary filmmaker I've ever seen. He's 
just so original. You couldn't mistake his 
work for anybody else's." 

One of his latest productions is a docu- 
mentary he shot in Afghanistan. He fol- 
lowed Masuda Sultan, an Afghan peace 
activist living in New York who discov- 
ered that 19 members of her family were 
killed when the U.S. military wiped out 
the village they were taking refuge in. 
Alpert believes: "It's important that the 
American people know that along with 
the good things that have happened in 
Afghanistan — the repressive Taliban 
regime is gone and Al Qaeda doesn't have 
a haven at this point — that there are also 
consequences to employing our military 
might." The short aired nationally on 
PBS's Now with Bill Mayers. 

Last year, Alpert made Papa, a moving 
portrait of his father, who suffers from a 
crippling nerve disease. The documentary 
has Alpert's trademark verite style, but it 
marks the first time he has turned the 
camera on his own life. For someone who 
has spent his career probing other peo- 
ple's lives, the change proves that Alpert 
continues to challenge himself 

Cinemax will broadcast Papa on Father's 
Day. For more information on DCTV, visit: 
www.dctvny.org. 



April 2002 THE INDEPENDENT 13 



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Philadelphia 

The Birthplace of Independence 



r..,..„.„i,uj.LU.> 



BY James Israel 



SCRIBE CELEBRATES 20TH ANNIVERSARY 



A crew member on one of 
the Documentary History 
Project for Youth Videos. 




A workshop session with instructor Maria Rodriguez (center) 



"Philadelphia has a really strong 
independent video and film community," 
says Louis Massiah, Scribe executive 
director and founder. "[It is] not ground- 
ed in corporate media. People understand 
what independent media is." Scribe has 
been serving this tight knit, diverse com- 
munity for almost 20 years, offering a wide 
range of educational workshops, fiscal 
sponsorship, equipment rental, screen- 
ings, and a catalogue of videos. Though 
their services may seem similar to other 
media arts organizations, "one of the 
things different with Scribe is its strong 
relationship with local community organi- 
zations and the neighborhood," says 
Massiah. 

Scribe offers a tremendous service to 
Philadelphia residents through programs 
such as Community Visions, which helps 
community organizations make their own 
video about important issues in their 
neighborhood or cultural life. Scribe pro- 
vides the equipment and technical assis- 
tance for a 10 month session that brings 
in two experienced filmmakers to guide 
the pre- to postproduction process and 



ends with local screenings and listing in 
Scribe's catalogue. Past videos have been 
To The Point, about a needle exchange 
program for habitual drug users and sex 
industry workers and Mediation: 
Untangling the Knot, which instructs com- 
munities on peaceful alternatives to vio- 
lence. Upcoming projects include a video 
for recruiting mentors for paroled prison- 
ers by the prisoner assistance program 
Thresholds and a video on urban gardens 
in West Philadelphia by University City 
High School. 

Scribe reaches out to young people 
with its Documentary Youth History 
Project. High school students write a 
script, then shoot and edit a documentary 
about local Philadelphia history. Scribe 
also recently screened youth-oriented 
projects by RAVE, a group dedicated to 
issues affecting gay, lesbian, transgender 
and bisexual youth, and The Philadelphia 
Student Union, which is composed of stu- 
dent activists and organizers advocating 
for the rights and needs of the 
Philadelphia student population. 

Scribe also offers multiweek workshops 



on everything from 16mm film production 
to scriptwriting for documentaries to oral 
history production, which are open to 
everyone from novices to middle-range 
filmmakers, regardless of experience. 
Many of their instructors are also working 
filmmakers. Scribe relies on past alumni 
to offer mentorship to new filmmakers. 
"Some of the people that have come 
through Scribe, Nadine Patterson, Aishah 
Simmons, Andres Nicolini, Margie 
Strosser, lots of folks have helped build 
Scribe through their participation in the 
programs," says Massiah. 

Scribe was founded in 1982 to assist a 
community that Massiah felt did not have 
proper access to media tools and instruc- 
tion. "I realized in the early eighties that 
Philly did not have a media arts center 
where people could come together and 
work together. New York City had DCTV, 
Boston had BFVF, everywhere else had a 
place," says Massiah. He also felt at the 
time if you weren't matriculated in a uni- 
versity that you were left out of the local 
independent film/video scene. "We are 
consciously bound to work with the con- 
stituency of Philly that have been exclud- 
ed from access to training and technolo- 
gy." This statement is strongly reflected in 
Scribe's mission, which is to "engage peo- 
ple of color, women, young people, senior 
citizens, and those with limited economic 
resources in a dialogue about the poten- 
tial of the video medium." 

Scribe's future plans include planning 
for their twentieth anniversary celebra- 
tion in December. "There will be a num- 
ber of public events, screenings, and pub- 
lications to connect with the twentieth 
anniversary and a further kind of sharing 
with what Scribe does," says Massiah. 

For more info, see 
www.libertynet.org/scrlbe. 



THE RETURN OF PIVFA 

PIVFA, THE Philadelphia Independent 
Video & Film Association is celebrating 
its newfound autonomy after electing its 
first board of directors this past January. 
The membership organization previously 
existed as part of the University of 
Pennsylvania's International House but 
has been operating on its own for the past 
year, with an application for 501(c)(3) 
status currently in the works. 



April 2002 THE INDEPENDENT 15 




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The move for independence grew from 
a desire to focus on the needs of focal film 
and videomakers without existing as one 
aspect of a larger organization. The biggest 
change is that "membership now deter- 
mines what the organization is going to do," 
according to Ron Kanter, longtime PIVFA 
member and newly elected board member. 

The new 25 -member board has several 
individuals well-known in the Philadelphia 
independent film community, including 
Ray Murray (TLA Entertainment Group 
and Philadelphia International Gay and 
Lesbian Film Festival) , Sharon Pinkenson 
(Greater Philadelphia Film Office), and 
Mike Lemon (owner of Mike Lemon 
Casting) , to name a few. 

Based at the University of the Arts, the 
organization currently has over 200 mem- 
bers and over 700 mailing list subscribers. 
Last year they revived the PIVFA 
newsletter, which offers information on 
membership accomplishments, screen- 
ings, grants, and other opportunities. 
PIVFA has also started PIVFA Assist, a 
Tuesday evening phone and e-mail hot- 
line that answers production-related 
questions. Malkia Lydia was hired as the 
organization's first director last October. 

In the past year, PIVFA has premiered 
films by members and local filmmakers, 
awarded subsidy grants, offered produc- 
tion workshops on lighting and audio, and 
has been involved in informational panels 
on funding and Public Television. PIVFA 
also was involved with MAESTRO, AIVF 
and NAMAC's traveling series of artist 
focus groups, screenings, panels and net- 
working opportunities. 

For more info, visit www.pivfa.org; 
call 215-717-6464; or e-mail 
contactus@pivfa.org. 

PHILLY INDYMEDIA CENTER 
PURCHASES SPACE 

The Independent Media Center of 
Philadelphia is currently seeking dona- 
tions to help refurbish a dilapidated, 
three -story building in Western 
Philadelphia that they purchased off the 
auction block last October for $15,100. 

Philly-IMC is a part of the internation- 
al IndyMedia collective offering indepen- 
dent, non- corporate media coverage via 
the Web and their newspaper, 
Vnconvention. IMC-Philly was created to 



serve as a hub for over 600 volunteers 
providing alternative coverage of the 
Republican Convention in the summer of 
2000 (see Conventional Wisdom, The 
Independent, 11/2000). Since the con- 
vention, IMC-Philly has continued to 
build and support a broad network of 
independent media makers producing 
grassroots political coverage. 

The future uses for the new space 
include a home for Philly-IMC, local radio 
station Radio Volta/WPEB, a public gather- 
ing space for film screenings and classes, a 
public computer lab, and a literature and 
video library. As the building is lacking cer- 
tain essentials like plumbing, electricity, and 
heat, IndyMedia is looking for additional 
funds so they can bring it up to speed. 

For information about IMC-Philly and 
how to make donations, visit 
www.phillyimc.org. 

TEMPLE SUPPORTS ARTISTIC 
EXPLORATION 

Temple University's Department of Film 
and Media Arts (FMA) has long enjoyed 
a reputation as one of the top programs 
fostering socially conscious work, pre- 
dominantly in the area of contemporary 
documentary. The school also prides itself 
on its role in fostering the alternative 
voices often ignored by Hollywood and 
commercial media; better-known gradu- 
ates include Cheryl Dunye, Niva Dorell, 
Paul Harrill, and Kimi Takasue. Temple 
students have garnered an impressive 
array of awards, from Eastman Kodak 
scholarships to Oscar nominations. 

The program was an early adopter of 
digital tools, and students have access to 
an impressive array of technology, from 
DV to BetaSP to a "hypermedia laborato- 
ry," for computer controlled 

and computer generated media. 
The School of 

Communications and Theater 
(SCAT) received close to $5 
million from Pennsylvania's 
Link-to-Learn program, which 
was used to upgrade new media 
facilities in the school. 

Students in the FMA also 
benefit from the School's focus 



Sean McBride's That Special Monkey 



on the creative aspects of new media. 
SCAT embraces the idea that "Any new 
medium carries within it the seeds for new 
conceptual models and new means of 
interaction." To this end, the School 
offers a New Media Interdisciplinary 
Concentration that allows students to 
expand upon traditional FMA skills and 
studies through an exploration of conver- 
gence technologies and the evolution of 
media traditions. Curriculum includes 
computer-based animation along with 
web and interactive media production 
classes. 

At the same time. Temple has renewed 
its commitment to the film format, with 
recent investment in new Aaton Minima 
super 16mm film cameras. Avid systems 
for posting film projects, and Pro Tools LE 
systems for posting film sound. 

"The currrent MFA first year is full of 
hot shots," says associate professor LeAnn 
Erickson, "...but we've always attracted 
strong candidates. Students come to our 
program because here they can develop 
work in any genre — narrative, documen- 
tary, experimental, new media — but above 
all because they are encouraged to devel- 
op work that reflects a personal vision." 

For more info, visit 
www.temple.edu/fma. 

SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE 

AT THE 2002 PHILLY 
FESTIVAL OF WORLD CINEMA 

The Philadelphia Festival of World 
Cinema returns April 4-15 for its 11th 
year with a John Sayles retrospective, the 
"Set in Philadelphia" Screenwriting 
Competition, a newly added Student Film 
Festival, and The Festival of Independents. 




April 2002 THE INDEPENDENT 17 



(i 



xKxapox&TS 



Director-screenwriter John Sayles will 
be on hand to host a retrospective of his 
classic films Return of the Secaucus Seven, 
Lianna, The Brother from Another Planet, 
and Matewan. Well-known horror writer 
Clive Barker will make his eerie influence 
felt: he created this year's festival trailer. 

The Philadelphia Filmmakers Office 
and the Greater Philadelphia Film Office 
are again presenting the "Set in 
Philadelphia" Screenwriting Competition, 
which offers awards for best script set in 
Philadelphia region, best script by a per- 
son under 21, and a new regional award 
for best script set in Philadelphia by a 
Philadelphian. The panel of judges 
include Henry Bean, Writer/Director of 
The Believer, Holly Veronica Becker, 
director of production and development 
for IFC Productions, and Glenn Holsten, 
producer/director with national PBS pro- 
duction credits such as Mothers March 
and The Sounds Of Philadelphia. 

Reflecting current times, the festival is 
programming Cinema of Muslim Worlds, 
which will offer dramatic feature films from 
seven countries about Islamic life. Other 
international fare includes New Korean 
Cinema and cutting edge films that 




appeal to late-night crowds called Danger 
After Dark. The Student Film Festival, 
curated by Next Frame will present stu- 
dent films from all over the world, includ- 
ing That Special Monkey, by Sean McBride 
(University of the Arts, USA), Out of 
Darkness, by David Rittey (Victoria College 
of the Arts, Australia) and Rihat, by Dilek 
Gelebi (Anakara University, Turkey). 

A part of the festival (in what could be a 
festival all by itselO is The Festi\'al of 
Independents. This year's festival, like last, 
will be jam packed full of screenings, panel 
discussions, networking opportunities, and 



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Rich Murray's Snipes. 



parties. Festival of 
Independents 
opens with the 
American pre- 
miere of Rich 
Murray's film 
Snipes. Featuring 
rap artist Nelly 
and set in 
Philadelphia, the 
film premiered 
last year at the 
Toronto International Film Festival. 

On the panel side, PitchFest, a free 
event sponsored by Festival oi 
Independents and Greater Philadelphia 
Filmmakers, is an opportunity' for screen- 
writers and filmmakers to pitch their ideas 
and scripts to agencies in two minutes or 
less. Keepers of The Flame, a panel dis- 
cussion of local exhibitors, will offer audi- 
ences a chance to pick the brains of 
Gretjen Clausing (Film at the Prince), 
Ned (Films at the Balcony), Jay Schwartz 
(Secret Cinema), and George McCullough 
(DUTV) and find out why they choose 
the films that they do. 

Chicks on Flix will offer a feminine per- 
spective on the film industry' with film- 
makers and industry professionals, such as 
Sara Bernstein (HBO), Gage Johnston 
(Scout Productions), Michelle Parkerson 
(filmmaker and professor at Temple 
University-) - Anula Shett>' (Termite TV), 
and Kimi Takesue (2002 Slamdance 
Award Winner). 

Finally, just to prove the festi\-al offers 
something for ever^'one: filmmakers won- 
dering why their film didn't make it into 
the festival will appreciate Blast- Off!: An 
Event for the Cinematically Incorrect, an 
open mic session for people to share their 
complaints, release some steam, and share 
some horror stories over a beer. To round 
it all out is Cast-A-Way, a chance for 
wannabe actors and actresses to meet face 
to face with local casting agencies. 

For current details and for a full 
festival lineup: www.phjllyfests.com. 

WTien not deskhowid at AIVF providing 

information services, James Israel is actually a 

Brooklyn-based filmmaker He thinks people in 

Philadelphia are aujully nice. 



18 THE INDEPENDENT April 2002 



RESOURCES 

BY Gretjen Clausing 

MovieMaker Magazine recently voted 
Philadelphia one of the top 10 North 
American cities for filmmaking and it's easy 
to see why. Quality venues, committed ser- 
vice organizations, and motivated advocacy 
groups make for a lethal triple threat. This 
tight knit, resourceful and diverse community 
has dug deep and found renewed energy and 
focus despite its close proximity td the Big 
Apple. Its rich documentary tradition, hype- 
free narrative filmmaking, and feisty media 
activists are evidence that the spirit of inde- 
pendence is alive and kicking. 

When in town check out the organizations 
profiled, plus: 

DUTV Drexler University Cable 54: Locally 
programmed with its slate of indie television, 
DUTV is a welcome respite from humdrum 
cable offerings: www.dutv.org. 

Film at the Prince: The Sharon Pinkenson 
Film Project, with its eclectic repertory 
calendar, is the unofficial venue for indie film 
from around the corner and the globe: 
www.princemusictheater.org. 

Greater Philadelphia Filmmakers: This 
new program of the energetic Greater 
Philadelphia Film Office focuses on local 
filmmakers with seminars, training, network- 
ing opportunities and more: www.film.org. 

Media Tank: An outgrowth of the Philly 
IndyMedia Center, Media Tank works to 
broaden the debate on important issues of 
media democracy: www.mediatank.org. 

Philadelphia Film Society: is home to two 
major film festivals, Philadelphia Festival of 
World Cinema and The Philadelphia 
International Gay & Lesbian Film Festival: 
www.phillyfests.com. 

PhillyDV: A new group focusing on providing 
information on new digital and computer 
technologies for area media makers and 
producers: contact rob@robkates.com. 

Gretjen Clausing is part of the glue 

that holds Philadelphia together. 

A former director of PIVFA, 

she now runs Film at the Prince. 




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CineMart and the IFFR 

Six thousand meetings and a few dance numbers 



BY Mark Rabinowitz 



On January 30th, the International 
Film Festival Rotterdam's (IFFR) CineMart 
(www.filmfestivalrotterdam.com) wrapped 
up in its usual fashion: the festival staff gath- 
ered on stage around 2 a.m. at the end of the 
market's closing night party and danced and 
sang along to "When Will I See You Again." 
It has become a tradition loved by the 
attendees, and many (inebriated) partygo- 



from the ground level." CineMart is the 
brainchild of IFFR co-director Sandra den 
Hamer, and prior to Ibram's arrival it was 
run by Wouter Barendrecht (Fortissimo 
Film Sales) and Janette Kolkema. 

There are three kinds of invitations to 
the market, and each year the list of who 
receives what type of invitation is updat- 
ed with input from the advisory board. 




Producers Alicia Kratzer and T. Todd Flinchum in Rotterdam 



ers held cigarette lighters and candles aloft 
to celebrate the spirit of CineMart, quite 
possibly the most enjoyable and convivial 
business experience in the film world. 

An omnipresent fixture of the festival is 
Ido Abram, who has been the coordinator 
of the invitation- only CineMart for the 
past four years, and estimates that he has 
seen the event grow between 20-25% in 
submissions and participants during his 
tenure. Prior to the IFFR, Abram worked 
for Dutch art house distributor Cinemien 
for five years. He has also served as head 
of marketing, press, and communication 
for the Netherlands Film Festival. Abram 
is careful to point out that credit for the 
growth and success of CineMart must be 
shared with others. "When I stepped in, 
everything was set. ... I didn't have to start 



Invitees have the chance to buy an 
accreditation, are given a free accredita- 
tion, or granted a free accreditation plus 
hotel nights. All invitees are then set up 
in meetings. As far as how the meetings 
are arranged, Abram explains that the 
"financiers we invite let us know what 
projects they are interested in" and those 
meetings are guaranteed. Additionally, 
the producers with projects in the market 
can put in requests, and those are hon- 
ored on an available basis. 

How many meetings take place dur- 
ing the CineMart, you might ask? "This 
year there were well over 6,000 meetings. 
Almost 7,000, I think," says Abram. He is 
not certain of the number because the fes- 
tival's scheduling software only has a capac- 
ity of 6,000, and anything over that is guess- 



work. Whatever the actual number, it's clear 
they reached a very healthy level. During 
the CineMart's four-day run, filmmakers 
with projects in the market have upwards of 
30 formal half-hour meetings, and count- 
less more over myriad beers during the 
IFFR's many parties and receptions. 

Attendees who are asked say the key 
reason for their participation at the 
CineMart is its mood. "People do business 
here in a quiet and relaxed atmosphere," 
says Abram, and the pressure is off, since 
"it's not necessary that deals are closed 
here, as long as they are started here." 
And successful it is, with Abram claiming 
that a whopping 85% of projects at 
CineMart end up being financed and 
made into films. 

Attending CineMart for the first time 
were producers Andrea Sperling (But Vm 
a Cheerleader) and Jasmine Kosovic (The 
Adventures of Sebastian Cole), who along 
with director Jamie Babbit (But I'm a 
Cheerleader) were representing Babbit's 
new script, The Giggle Factor, a comedy 
about money, child molestation, and the 
odd habit humans have of laughing at 
truly horrific situations. They were 
thrilled with their experience not only 
because they had dozens of positive meet- 
ings and made significant progress toward 
raising money, but also because they were 
selected to participate in the Rotterdam- 
Berlinale Express. The Express is a selec- 
tion of six CineMart projects that get to 
make a presentation at the European Film 
Market in Berlin (see w\vw.indie WIRE. com 
for a complete list of winners). 

Another group making their first trip to 
CineMart was the Cambrai Liberation 
Collective. T Todd Flinchum, Alicia 
Krat:er, and Dante Harper are three of 
the four people responsible for The 
Delicate Art of the Rifle (1996), directed by 
Harper (Steve Grant, the fourth member, 
wasn't in Rotterdam). Their market pro- 
ject, Dreamland follows the lite of Timothy 
McVeigh, from his early teen years to just 
before the Oklahoma City bomb 
explodes. On the opening day of the mar- 
ket, Harper was slightly nervous, but 
much less so than he would have been in 
a regular L.A. film bi: setting. "In L.A., 
these are the kind ot meetings that gi\'e 
you diarrhea," he joked. Yet echoing the 
sentiments of the rest of the CineMart 
participants, he remarked that the low- 
key atmosphere ot was relaxing. 



20 THE INDEPENDENT April 2002 




I spoke to the trio again at the end of 
the four days, and they had nothing but 
glowing things to say about their experi- 
ence. They had more than 20 meetings 
and things seem to have gone well. "We 
were prepared for the hard questions," 
says Kratzer, '"What does this mean for 
France?' and so on, but everyone seemed 
to get [the project]." Harper pointed out 
that because it is a relatively exclusive 
market for both projects and producers, 
"the assumption was that if you're here, 
you're ok." Harper was also impressed by 
how noncompetitive the participants 
were and how everyone seemed genuinely 
interested in each other's work. Kratzer 
added that she doesn't "understand why 
other markets aren't run like this." 
Flinchum seconded her feelings, adding 




Harry Smith in Paola Igliori's American Magus 

that while "there were a few cast restric- 
tions" proposed by potential financiers, 
"overall you couldn't ask for a better mar- 
ket." Their only qualm? "They should ring 
a bell" at the end of the half-hour ses- 
sions, remarked Flinchum. It seems that 
some meetings were going so well that the 
participants didn't want to end them, so 
they ran over their allotted time. 



Manic, by 
Jordan IVIelaned 



As far as the 
American entries in 
the festival proper, it 
was a mixture of 
films already 

released in the 
United States, such 
as The Man Who 
Wasn't There, Hedwig 
and the Angry Inch, 
Donine Darko, and In 
the Bedroom, indies 
soon to be released, like Manic and 
Scratch, and a few premieres, including 
Suki Hawky's and Michael Galinsky's Hams 
and Hahs. 

Horns and Halos is an engrossing and 
well-made doc about the battle over 
Fortunate Son, J.W Hatfield's biography of 
President George W Bush. Fortunate Son 
caused something of a scandal when the 
original publisher, St. Martin's Press, 
dropped the book for no apparent reason 
and Sander Hicks and his New York guer- 
rilla publishing outfit. Soft Skull, subse- 
quently picked it up. Hatfield and Hicks 
make for interesting, if flawed, subjects, as 
the doc traces the evolution of the book 
from its original publication in 1999 
through the Chicago Book Expo of 2000. 
Surprising and revealing. Horns and Halos 
delves into journalistic ethics and presi- 
dential politics, and scratches the surface 
of a potential conspiracy that might well 
be a worthy subject for another film. 

An additional world premiere was 
American Magus, Paola Igliori's documen- 
tary bio of American artist/filmmaker/col- 
lector/eccentric genius, Harry Smith. For 
those of you who don't know Smith's 
work, in the early 1950s he was responsi- 
ble for compiling the definitive collection 
of American folk music (Bob Dylan once 
remarked that if it weren't for Harry 
Smith, "I wouldn't have existed"). He was 
also arguably the first experimental film- 
maker, a prodigious collector (painted 
Ukrainian Easter eggs, for example), a 
voracious reader with a photographic 
memory, and, to be honest, pretty kooky. 
All this adds up to a compelling subject 
for a documentary; unfortunately, that 
doc has yet to be made. Igliori's film is too 
long and miserably edited. Moreover, 
Igliori was very close to Smith (she claims 



to have been with him when he died) , and 
the film lacks a necessary distance from its 
subject. There are several redundant and 
unnecessary pieces in the film, and it 
could easily be cut to 60 minutes (festival 
running time was 93 minutes). Also, 
many interesting people are mentioned as 
having been influenced by, or friends 
with. Smith, and very few are interviewed 
or shown. 

On the successful side are two films 
soon to be released in the United States: 
Jordan Melamed's Manic and Doug Pray's 
documentary history about hip hop DJs, 
Scratch. Manic (IFC, mid-June) is a gritty 
and moving look at a group of emotional- 
ly disturbed teenagers at a lock- down 
facility in California. Melamed's DV for- 
mat and mostly handheld camera work 
heighten the anxiety level of the film. 
Scratch (Palm Pictures, March) is a com- 
prehensive review of the rise of hip hop 
DJs, from 
their begin- 
nings as basic 
sidemen and 
musical 
backup to 
MCs to their 
rightful place 
as musicians. 
Current 
famous DJs 
like Qbert 
and Mix 
Master Mike 
are inter- 
viewed and 
shown doing 

their thing, as are pioneers in the field of 
hip hop music, including Cool Here, Jazzy 
Jay, and Afrika Bambaataa. 

Overall, the IFFR is not a prime show- 
case for American indies — although the 
fest does screen quite a lot of experimen- 
tal and video work from the United 
States. But there is no danger of being lost 
in the shuffle, like at Sundance or 
Toronto. If your American film is one of 
the few world or European premieres in 
the fest, it stands a good chance of being 
singled out by a Dutch audience who truly 
appreciate independent films of all genres. 

Mark Rabinowitz is co-founder of indie WIRE and is 

the film critic for Alternative Press magazine. He has 

written for IFCRant and Time Out New York, 

among others, and is currently in postproduction on 

Vincent Stasolla's The Forgotten as co-producer. 




Horns and Halos, by 
IVIichael Galinsky 



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Lucky 13 

Palm Springs International Film Festival 



BY Ran dy Matin 




No Man's Land, directed by Danis Tanovic 



It was the year of Lucky 13 for the 
Palm Springs International Film Festival 
(www.psfilmfest.org), maturing at this 
juncture, from the quick weekend affair it 
was when the late pop -singer- turned- 
politician Sonny Bono first cobbled it 
together 13 years ago. 

During this time Palm Springs has 
grown in status among regional festivals. 
Independent features are screened at the 
Festival of Arts triplex, as well as at the 
Desert Museum's Annenberg Theatre, 
Resort Theaters' Courtyard 10 multiplex, 
and at the Palm Springs High School. 

But indies are only a part of a larger 
program that this year saw some 160 films 
unspool. Among these were intriguing 
documentaries, including director 
Carmen Piccini's tribute to Federico 
Fellini and the BBC television production 
David Hockney Secret Knowledge in which 
the master artist assembles a time line of 
painting from the Renaissance to the 



modern, citing amazing advances in 
imagery that came along with the inven- 
tion of the optical lens. As artists and ani- 
mators today lovingly embrace computer 
technology, Hockney argues that painters 
from the fifteenth century and onward 
used tools — specifically the optical lens — 
to help them capture and render images. 
Although he is not the first to further this 
idea, Hockney is the first to suggest that 
the use of such tools was in much wider 
practice then the global art community 
has previously cared to accept. The first of 
the doc's three screenings turned out to 
be a major art event, with a patient and 
lucid Hockney in attendance, and staying 
well over an hour after the film's conclu- 
sion to take and answer questions. 

Thanks to its veteran programming staff, 
headed by Jennifer Stark, the festival offers 
sidebars that reach out to diverse commu- 
nities, from the Coachella Valley's large 
population of Jewish seniors to the city's 



prominent gay population. The ongoing 
sidebars II Nuovo Cinema Italiano and 
Cinematographer's Day (programmed by 
pathologist and indie filmmaker Dr. David 
B. Kaminsky) continue to draw record 
crowds with discussions on Dogma 95 and 
the digitizing of cinematography. 

Adding a new sensibility to the mix, Ian 
Birnie, who runs the 
Los Angeles County 
Museum of Art's film 
department, came on 
board with a slate of 
films from France 
and Germany. Among 
Birnie's selections was 
a pair of quirky 50- 
minute narratives by 
Alain Guiraudie, a 
relatively unknown 
French filmmaker with 
an undeniably unique 
voice and vision. That 
Old Dream That Moves 
speaks of desire and 
rejection in enigmatic 
ways with an effortless 
gay twist. In contrast, 
Sunshine for the Poor^s 
folk legend mystery 
theme and passive 
defiance to spell out 
every last detail feels like 
an F. Scott Fitzgerald 
short story transported 
to a European desert. Many, including 
Birine, feel Guiraudie is poised to become a 
major new talent in international cinema. 
Star power is always close at hand in 
Palm Springs, long a getaway for the likes 
of Sinatra, Presley, and a myriad of former 
presidents. And this year was no excep- 
tion with Alan Bates present to accept the 
festival's Career Achievement Award and 
make appearances at a nine -film career 
retrospective. Amelie director Jean Pierre 
Jeunet was also flown in as was Moulin 
Rouge helmer Baz Lurhman for evenings 
of film and conversation. 

Glitz aside, the festival's greatest calling 
card is its ability to cull a large number of 
films submitted for the Best Foreign 
Language Film Oscar. This year the festi- 
val's 43 offerings (out of the 5 1 films sub- 
mitted by their respective countries) repre- 
sented nearly one third of the festival's 
total programming. While a handful of 
these films are well known on the interna- 



April 2002 THE INDEPENDENT 23 




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Makova Comfort Gay, directed by Gil Pontes 

tional cinema scene, like Jan Sverak's Dark 
Blue World, most of the selections are pro- 
jects by indie directors, albeit indie direc- 
tors who now enjoy some degree of backing 
from their respective governments despite 
a lack of significant domestic distribution. 

Elling from Norwegian director Petter 
Naess took one of the top 10 slots among 
audience balloting. The sweetly comedic 
tale follows the life of two socially 
impaired men who are given an apart- 
ment in the heart of Oslo upon release 
from a mental institution. 

A surprise among audience favorites 
was the four-hour Indian confection 
Liigaan: Once Upon A Time In India from 
director Ashutosh Gowariker. The film 
includes lavishly choreographed musical 
fantasias replete with a cast of hundreds 
of brightly costumed dancers and singers. 
Harder hitting was German filmmaker 
Oliver Hirschbiegel's prison drama The 
Experiment, and the sober, methodical, 
and well-wrought Portuguese entry 
Camarate from director Luis Filipe Rocha, 
a work that peels back deep layers of a 25- 
year-old government co\'er-up. At press 
time, none of these films had U.S. distrib- 
ution, though Lagaan does have an 
impending home video release through 
Columbia/Tri-Star 

In an effort to address the terrorist 
attack in New York, the festival organized 
a post September 11-themed director's 
panel. Filipino director Gil Portes, who 
had two films at the fest, Markova Comfort 
Gay and his countr>''s Oscar submission, 
In The Bosom of the Enemy, was one of the 
few to respond positively when asked 
about filmmakers taking on new responsi- 



bilities after the assault. A resi- 
dent of New York City, Portes, 
whose films are politically 
charged, answered that 
"responsible filmmakers should 
do something, should show the 
problems." But as the discus- 
sion grew, many of the interna- 
tional congregates, although 
they empathized with 
America's woes, felt the U.S. 
point of view as expressed 
through CNN was either one- 
sided or distorted. 

Tricky Life director Beatrice 
Flores Silva, whose film is 
Uruguay's Oscar submission, 
stated she was "shocked by the 
Twin Towers, but in Uruguay we have to 
live ever^' day with problems. And not just 
those defined by the 'official version,' the 
American view of the world." This opened 
the door for French Canadian filmmaker 
Denis Chouinard, (The Tar Angel) who 
remarked, "I'm sickened by the American 
TV depiction of Arabs as all blood thirsty 
savages." He also heatedly expressed his 
opposition to the U.S. embargoes directed 
at Cuba and Iraq. Danis Tanovic, director 
of the Oscar submission No Man's Land 
from Bosnia, looking jetlagged and 
unshaven, agreed with Chouinard but 
also conceded, "This is always the way 
after a violent world event. It's like the 
story of Sisyphus. This same panel will 
likely convene again in 50 years and still 
be arguing the same questions." 

The following evening a shaven and 
tuxedoed Tanovic would be seen on 
national tele\'ision accepting the Golden 
Globe Award for his film. Ironic, yes, hut 
once they'd had their occasion to vent, 
the consensus among these international 
indie filmmakers seemed to he: hold on to 
one's artistic vision while waving the 
American flag. 

Chouinard's comment perhaps says it 
best, "In order to be heard, filmmakers of 
the world will have to stop making films 
in their nati\'e languages because the 
United States only speaks English." 
"Otherwise," he sniped, "we will always be 
relegated to a niche audience." 

Rand}' Matin is a SoCal-based journalist 

inspired by those u'ho pursue the creative spark 

and continue to push the envelope across the 

spectrum of the arts. Reach him by e-mail at 

?acNewGr(a aol.com. 



24 THE INDEPENDENT April 2002 



G 






Mood Swings 

Shorts International and NY Shorts Expo 
celebrate poetic visions 



'jSSSSSSiM 




No Dumb Questions, directed by IVIelissa Regan 

The place of short films in the movie 
world is akin to the place of poetry in the 
book world. Consider this: Alan Dugan's 
collection Poems Seven sold a mere 20 
copies the week before it won the presti- 
gious National Book Award in 2001. 
Shorts, like poems, have no obvious main- 
stream outlet. Their brevity, rather than 
being a draw, seems to be off-putting. 
Audiences accustomed to the narrative 
arc of features are often cool to the trun- 
cated rhythm of shorts. 

The for- love -not- money status of the 
genre lends itself to deeply inventive 
work, which could be seen at two shorts 
festivals held in New York City early this 
winter. The programs were chock-full of 
innovative pieces just long enough to 
convey revelatory moments, as well as 
poetic films steeped in moods and ideas. 

Unfortunately, the aftermath of 
September 11th placed the festivals up 
against much more than the usual public 
indifference. It was extraordinary what 
the Fifth Annual Shorts International 
Film Festival, held November 12-15, had 
to endure. Case in point: I almost didn't 
make it to the opening day's digital pro- 
gram because the crash of Flight 587 in 
Queens that morning meant the bridges 



BY Theresa Everline 



and tunnels into 
Manhattan were 
clamped shut yet 
again. Then an 
anthrax scare para- 
lyzed the very sub- 
way station that 
delivered people to 
the closing-night 
awards ceremony at 
the Loews Lincoln 
Square Theatre. 

The festival's 
(www.shorts.org) 
programs were split 
between the profes- 
sional but soulless 
Loews and, for all 
the digital films, a 
gem of a screening room 70 blocks away 
in the Tribeca Grand Hotel. The herding 
together of all the digital entries was 
because the festival had received accredi- 
tation from AMPAS, which doesn't 
accept digital entries for its shorts catego- 
ry. Since any short that won (thus making 
it eligible for Academy Award considera- 
tion) had to be created in a film format, 
the festival decided to break out the digi- 
tal projects and give them their own com- 
petitive division. 

As a viewer, it wasn't so odd to sit 
through a digital program that mixed doc- 
umentaries, narratives, and animation. 
Part of the pleasure of a shorts program is 
in the mood swings. 

The digital winner was the pitch-per- 
fect documentary No Dumb Questions, 
which captures three young sisters' reac- 
tions to their uncle's sex-change opera- 
tion. The doc's first-time director Melissa 
Regan considered the pros and cons of 
separating out the digital films from the 
rest of the entries. It could boost visibility 
and recognition, said Regan, yet "my con- 
cern is that if digital films remain separate 
for too many years, we run the danger of 
relegating them to a second-class status." 
Nonetheless, she acknowledged that her 



film, a quickly unfolding family event, 
would not have been possible without the 
digital format. 

Festival director Lisa Walborsky 
explained that the use of Loews, instead 
of one of the many indie screening rooms 
in the city, was a deliberate attempt to 
give the films some mainstream cachet. 
"The filmmakers said it was nice to see 
their films in a [conventional] theater," 
Walborsky noted, adding that she hoped 
the location would make potential filmgo- 
ers more comfortable. But there was a 
drawback: Loews won't give up weekend 
screens, requiring the festival to show 
works only during the week when most 
commercial movie patrons aren't paying 
attention. At Loews, audience attendance 
in the afternoons was sparse with the 
nights faring only a little better. 
Audiences were further minced because 
all the programs were shown several times 
over the festival's three-day run. 

When asked why she began the fest five 
years ago, considering there was already a 
well-established shorts festival in New 
York, Walborsky said her main reason was 
to boost the form's exposure. "I really 
thought, 'can't we put these [short films] 
in a commercial venue so they're not 
always a sidebar at festivals?'" She added 
that in the last few years Internet and 
cable companies have paid more atten- 
tion to shorts programming. 

The New York EXPOsition of Short 
Film and Video (www.nyexpo.org) held its 
35th annual event on December 6-9. Like 
the Shorts International Festival, the EXPO 
screened a mix of American and foreign 
works. The quality of projects at both festi- 
vals was high, with several standouts. 
Clearly, there are more than enough shorts 
to fill two fests held within weeks of one 
another; each showed more than 100 films 
with almost no overlap between them. I 
noticed only one repeated entry, the tech- 
nically adept Copy Shop, directed by 
Austrian Virgil Widrich (nominated for an 
Academy Award for best live action short) . 

The EXPO also felt the considerable 
repercussions of September 11th, mostly 
in the form of sponsors dropping out. 
Anthrax scares weren't a distraction; 
rather, it was Robert DeNiro who created 
a stir. On the festival's opening day, the 
film media were abuzz with DeNiro's 
announcement that he was going to put 
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Gregor's Greatest Invention, directed by Johannes Kiefer 

For the EXPO's opening-night pro- 
gram, the 100-seat Two Boots Pioneer 
Theater in the East Village was standing 
room only. The audience enjoyed Gregor's 
Greatest Invention, a charming entr^' from 
Germany directed by Johannes Kiefer that 
eventually took third place in the fiction 
category (it was also nominated for an 
Academy Award for 
best live action 
short) . Almost half of 
the evening was given 
over to The Vnknowri 
Putin, a 52-minute 
documentary by Sergei 
Miroshnichenko. As 
the director follows 
the Russian leader 
around for a day, we 
discover his subject 
through unexpected 
angles: instead of pol- 
icy, we learn about 
Putin's computer lit- 
eracy and how he 
prefers his tea. 

The remainder ot 
the festival took 
place at NYU's 
Cantor Film Center, which filled up sever- 
al times. At one point, for the documen- 
tary Big Blue, a horde of the film's sub- 
jects — New York City handball players — 
swarmed in, cheered in appreciation, then 
shuffled out before the next film started. 

In the competitive animation selection. 
Adagio, directed by Russian Garri 
Bardine, took first place. It is a stark, 
angular work in which origami figures act 
out an epic religious parable. In contrast, 
the second-place winner The Neighbors, 
directed by Stephan Briykov, is a whimsi- 



cal ' tale about bulbous 
characters being trans- 
ported by music. 

The documentary 
winner Close and Far 
Avuay took one element 
of the depressing state of 
world affairs and invited 
it into the theater. 
Director Tsipi Trope is an 
Israeli Jew; her subjects, 
two brothers-in-law, are 
Arab Israelis. One man is 
a successful commercial 
photographer, the other 
a one-time militant. It's 
an assured, honest, and surprisingly pow- 
erful portrait that's been shown on Israeli 
TV. America, glutted recently with pro- 
files of suicide bombers and other extrem- 
ists, would benefit from seeing Trope's film 
(deliberately cut at 52 minutes to be TV- 
friendly), but subtitled films are always a 
hard sell to an American audience. 




John "Rookie" Wright (center) serving to Lloyd "Power" Babbs during the 
2000 King of the Courts game in Justin Sullivan's doc, Big Blue. 



The poet Mark Strand once said that 
most poets are drawn to the unknown, 
and writing is a way of making the 
unknown visible. The same could be said 
for the makers of the best of the short 
films in these two festivals. It's just too 
bad that their works can't be more visible. 



Theresa Everline lives in Brooklyn, N.Y Her 
most recent article is on Errol Morris's documen- 
tary Vernon, Florida, appearing in The Oxford 
Americans special issue on Southern film. 



26 THE INDEPENDENT April 2002 



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cnnncntnnr 



Diary of a Producer in Utah 

Taking "S^iom Reader to Slamdance 



BY Robert Goodman 




At the mic: Slamdance co-founder Peter Baxter (left), and Stone Reader director Mark Mosokowitz (speaking). 



A year ago my friend Mark Moskowitz called and 
asked my advice. He'd made a film, didn't know 
what to do with it, and thought it was pretty good 
even though he had intended it to be seen only by a 
few friends. I was intrigued. After watching a rough 
cut, I signed on as the consulting producer to move 
the film out of Mark's basement and into the world. 

Stone Reader was accepted into No Borders, 
the coproduction market held in early October in 
conjunction with IFP's feature film market in New 
York. We submitted a rough cut to several festivals. 
Slamdance took a chance and selected the film for 
its competition. 

Now in its eighth year, the Slamdance Film 
Festival, which touts itself as the festival by film- 
makers for filmmakers, has the distinction of being 
the oldest alternative to Sundance. Here are my 
impressions of my first trip to Park City. 



Day One, Philadelphia. Pitch black 4 a.m., 
Friday, January 11th. I dress in clothes 
carefully laid out three hours ago, wired 
from weeks preparation. My flight leaves 
at 7:15 a.m. The shuttle arrives at 5 a.m. 
A 12-minute ride to the airport. Before 
September, I would have left at 6:15 a.m. 
Instead, I check my bags, pass security, and 
arrive at my gate at 5:20 a.m. At 6: 15 Mark 
calls to say he won't make the plane 
because of technical problems. He'll fly out 
later. At 6:30 my wife calls. Her mother 
has fallen gravely ill. Leaving immediately 
for Pittsburgh. Our son Daniel, who just 
graduated college, will house sit. I board 
the plane, tired and torn. Someone should 
be at the first event of the day, Slamdance's 
meet and greet at 2 p.m. 

The plane is empty. I nap briefly. We 
arrive early. The bright, cold sun in Salt 
Lake is insistent. Climbing steadily the 
shuttle carries me toward Park City. An 
hour later, I've checked into the condo. I 
didn't make these arrangements, so I have 



no idea whether the location is good or 
bad. There's space for four. Later in the 
week, we'll have to house five. A full 
kitchen. Add buy groceries to my to-do list. 
Park City. Disoriented. I catch the bus 
(free) to the Transit Center in Old Town 
and transfer to the #4 bus. The 
Silvermine is where 
all the Slamdance 
events are held. It is 
the last stop on a cir- 
cuitous route that 
winds through the 
mountains for 25 min- 
utes despite the fact 
that the Silvermine is 
just over a mile from 
town. On the bus 
paranoiacs offer 

explanations. Make a 
note to find out the 
taxi fare. 

The Silvermine. 
More than an 
acquired name, the 
Silvermine was once a 
working mine. Then a 
museum. Slamdance 
moved here two years 
ago after the museum 
failed. The Slamdance 
staff has transformed 
the detritus of a min- 
ing museum into a 
200- seat theater, lounges, offices, and a 
snack bar for the eight-day run of the festi- 
val. This location offers free parking, an 
appropriately edgy setting, and space 
enough to hold all the events in one venue. 
I pick up my filmmaker credentials, 
which entitle me to free coffee and bot- 
tled water, a major bonus that's essential 
for survival given what I've heard. 
Screenings in Park City run from 8:30 a.m. 
to 2:00 a.m. There are six festivals under- 
way, as well as parties. Can anyone watch 
a film at 8:30 in the morning? I grab 
coffee and head to the press office to 
deliver our press kits and clip reels. 
Margot Gerber, director of media relations, 
and her assistant occupy a small office. 
Margot asks if I want to sign up for the last 
interview slot on a Park City TV show. 
Absolutely. The first rule of promotion is 
never pass up an opportunity no matter 
how insignificant it seems. We get an 
8:35 a.m. slot the day before our 
screening. Thankfully, the station is only 



April 2002 THE INDEPENDENT 27 



two blocks from our condo. I sense sleep 
may end up measured in minutes over the 
week to come. 

The lounge fills up with filmmakers. 
Jeremiah, a student at Emerson, spots me. 
He's here with a film. I coached his under- 
eleven soccer team. His mom calls and he 
puts me on, we talk. Total dislocation. 
Dan Mirvish, outfitted in mining garb, 
introduces the staff Afterward, the film- 
makers introduce themselves. We are 
encouraged to feel we are all in this 
together. The first screening at Slamdance 
immediately follows. I'm too exhausted. 
Plus, I've yet to register with Sundance — 
I'm covering Park City's main event for 
another magazine. Paying bills takes 
precedence. I head to town. 

Sundance's hotel headquarters, as I 
pleasantly discover, is yards from our 
condo. Make a note to thank Mark's 
mother She made the travel arrange- 
ments. Hundreds of people mill about the 
hotel lobby. Six public relations firms have 
offices here for Sundance. In the press 
office, a dozen staffers sit at long tables 
registering press, answering questions, 
managing the tape library, and handling 
special requests. I register and am told to 
return tomorrow to pick up my badge. 

I leave the hotel and look around. The 
ski resort is directly in front of me. Two 
high schoolers, who've spent their after- 
noon snowboarding, look at me dressed in 
my filmmaker's uniform of black with the 
same bored curiosity of spectators at the 
zoo. The lifts rise to the top of the ridge 
and the geography of Park City snaps into 
place. A once sleepy town at the base of 
two ski areas. Park City now faces subur- 
ban sprawl. I walk past my condo to the 
shopping center a block beyond. Two bags 
of groceries later, I'm in the condo making 
my first real meal of the day, 17 hours 
after morning coffee. 

I cook and take calls from our arriving 
team. Damon, an affable producer and 
longtime friend, is on a shuttle. Mark calls 
between connecting flights. Sue, a lively, 
talkative consultant from Los Angeles, 
whose first job was working for Mark, 
arrives and finds a party before calling for 
the condo address. She shows up after I 
finish dinner. Unpacks while I nap. 
Damon arrives. At 8:30 p.m. we leave for 
Slamdance's Opening Night Party. The 
bus to the Silvermine runs once an hour 
after 6 p.m., so we grab a cab. Eight dol- 



lars and six minutes later, we're in line for 
free drinks. The party gets raucous fast. 
We split up and start working the crowd. 
Hand out promotional postcards. Talk. 
And then talk some more. 

We have one screening on Wednesday 
at noon. One shot at filling the theater. 
The only way to make that happen is to 
make sure nearly everyone has heard 
something about our film before 
Wednesday. If we can stick the name, the 
time, and the date in people's heads, we'll 
garner an audience. Nothing else matters 
and nothing will 
matter for the 
next six days. 

Day One in 
Park City is actu- 
ally week three in 
my month long 
campaign. The 
first task was to 
build an e-mail 
list. Then, at 
regular intervals, I 
send out brief 
notes with intrigu- 
ing headlines to 
100 distributors 
and 300 press 
people. A one 
sheet. Interesting 
quotes from sub- 
jects in the film. 
Always highlighted is the date, time, and 
location of our screening. My second rule 
is to make when, where, and why easy to 
spot. Busy people, bombarded by hun- 
dreds of filmmakers, ha\'e no patience 
hunting for facts. 

Mark arrives after 10 p.m. We hang for 
an hour or so before calling it quits. Sue 
parties on. 

Day Two, Park City. Up early. Get cre- 
dentials for Sundance. Go to the 
Maryland's Slamdance filmmaker break- 
fast. See Christina Ricci being inter- 
viewed and Ray Liotta conducting an 
interview. We fuel up and strategize. 
Slamdance has warned us — no leafleting 
allowed on the streets of Park City. Sue 
will talk to people and hand out postcards 
while waiting in the lines for Sundance 
screenings. Damon will engage people in 
conversations on Main Street. Mark and I 
stake out Sundance's House of Docs. It 
has a comfortable lounge and full slate of 



panel discussions designed to bring doc 
filmmakers and the players together. 

The first panel of the day is a discussion 
called "Roads to New Funding," moderat- 
ed by Ruby Lemer of Creative Capital 
with filmmaker Jon Else and representa- 
tives from ITVS, NEH, and Sundance's 
Documentary Film Fund. I buttonhole 
Michael Shirley from the NEH to intro- 
duce myself. Ruby, present at a rough cut 
screening we did in the fall, chimes in to 
rave about the film. Shirley decides to 
meet with us, 20 minutes hence, to dis- 




Filmmakers' lounge at the Silvermine 



cuss funding. We grab a quick bite and 
have a great discussion with him. Makes 
the morning. I call my wife; the prognosis 
is bleak. We're worlds apart. I hand out 
postcards and talk to people about the 
film, meditatively, until 3:30 p.m. Then 
off to a press reception at Sundance. 

Evening — a private party. Redford 
shows up. Women of a certain age pull out 
their pocket cameras. I talk non-stop 
between sips of wine until the part>' runs 
out of steam. Then off to another part^'. 
Talk non-stop there. So it goes until after 
midnight. 

Day Three. Sunday. Head to church of 
Slamdance for a 10 a.m. screening and to 
check the theater. See two shorts — Better 
Life and The First Story — and a competi- 
tion doc. Thank You for the Rubbish. The 
projection is fine, the shorts outstanding. 
Rubbish funny, interesting, but raw. 
Afterward, see Ray Liotta at the same 
place on Main Street as I return to my 



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Peter Baxter 
talking to 
filmmakers at 
the Siivermine 



post at House of Docs. Talk, listen, and 
more talk. Slowly, an awful realization 
seeps into my brain. All of the people 
we're promoting the film to are leaving on 
Monday or Tuesday. None will be here on 
Wednesday. Apparently, people come for 
the first half or the second half of 
Sundance. Monday is the changeover day. 
We've wasted more than half of our post- 
cards. I call ever^'one. Stop now! We must 
do a full court press on Tuesday. Only 
Tuesday counts. Damon is in bed early 
fighting a cold. Drag Mark to a Sundance 
sponsored party. Accidentally end up 
meeting Park City residents. Glad. They'll 
be around. 

Day Four. Monday. Mark does a great 
radio interview for a Salt Lake C\x^; sta- 
tion. Buy tickets for Blue Vinyl, a 
Sundance doc. Go to a House of Docs 
panel. Afterward, talk to Alyce Myatt 
from PBS who introduces us to Cara 
Mertes from POV. Alyce gi\'es Cara a 
glowing report on our film. We consider 
advertising in the print version of 
indie Wire. Expensive. No space available 
above the fold. Inserting postcards in 
indie Wire is a possihlir\' but we don't ha\'e 
enough. Disheartened. All tor nought? 
Go to another Slamdance doc screening. 
Great short and good feature. The news 
from home worsens. 

Go to Sundance screening. Plusher 
seats, better projection, older crowd. Sold 
out. Ebert sits in special seat at the back of 
the center aisle. The filmmaker's team of 
suits scans the audience, spotting press 
and players. Film ends. Ebert slips out. I 
meet his producer. Return to House of 
Docs for a reception. More parties, more 



talk. Burnt 
toast by 
1 a.m. Sue 
rolls in from 
a party 

at 4 a.m., 
wakes us up. 



Day Five. Tuesday. Early a.m. Park Cit\' 
TV inter\'iew. Breakfast. Pass Ray Liotta 
in same spot. Our team launches into 
maximum promo mode. Talk, postcards, 
pitch, promote, talk, more talk. Don't 
stop talking. Ever^'thing rides on our per- 
formance. Can't recall when I quit. 
Sometime after Patrick Stewart tells me 
he's allergic to shellfish. Wednesday a.m. 
for sure. 

S-Day. Drop Mark at the SiKermine. Go 
to House of Docs for final promotional 
push. Then, back to the Siivermine to 
spend an hour helping tweak the projec- 
tor. Finally, it's perfect. The audience 
enters. Peter Baxter, Slamdance's co- 
founder, introduces Mark. Theater about 
two-thirds full. Not bad. The film starts. 
Seven minutes in the audience begins 
laughing. The film plays. No rustling, just 
laughter, nods and sighs. The film ends. 
Loud applause, on and on it seems. 

For me, all the hard work just paid off. 
Mark does a Q&A. Finally, they clear the 
theater for the next screening. We cele- 
brate. It's over. Much later, we go to a 
cajun-themed party for a Sundance film 
in a Park City' synagogue. Hot music, cold 
beer, warm pizza. I dance. Head back after 
midnight. In bed by 2 a.m., my phone 
rings. Sue with an invite to a hot part^'. 
Groan, roll over. 

Day Six. Thursday. Relax. Meetings. 
Talk to my wife — all had news. We fly back 
tomorrow. The Slamdance Awards begin 
at 7 p.m. No expectations. Closing parrs- at 
9 p.m. We arrive. The awards start. .After 
a few categories. Stone Reader recei\'es the 
Special Grand Jur\- Honor Mark shakes 



30 THE INDEPENDENT April 2002 



hands with jury, leaves empty handed. 
Pleased but confused. More Sparky awards 
are handed out, including the one for best 
doc. Then, the Audience Award for Best 
Feature Film — it's us. We won ... a 
Sparky! One really heavy dog. We get on 
stage. Wow! All smiles! Italian Television 
grabs Mark for an interview. 

Slamdance juror Heide Van Lier comes 
over, with Penelope Spheeris in tow, says, 
"It occurred to us you have no idea what 
any of this means. We voted to create a 
special award to acknowledge your film as 
best in the festival." Breathe deep. The 
Audience Award is prestigious because it 
demonstrates audience appeal. Films that 
win this award usually find distribution. 
Exhale. Slamdunk! 

Winners screen Friday. For us, a 3 p.m. 
slot. The closing party starts. It's deafen- 
ing but I call every distributor and press 
person I know. Then call Daniel and dic- 
tate an e-mail to my list. Mark calls his 
wife, then his mom. Mom works out new 
travel arrangements so we can be at the 
Friday screening. We party! Damon 
drowns his cold. 

Day Seven. Friday. We pack up and 
check out. Catch the beginning of the 
first award screening at the Silvermine. 
There are less than 10 people there. Mark 
and I go to Park City to try and get people 
to come to our screening. It's like pulling 
teeth. Plus, it's snowing. The audience for 
our screening is small. Everyone is burnt 
out. No big laughs. Too much effort 
required. Later I discover my "award-win- 
ner screens" e-mail never went out 
because of a technical problem. Mark and 
I drive to Salt Lake City to impose on 
friends for the night. 

Day Eight. Saturday. Up before dawn, we 
get lost driving to the airport. The plane is 
empty. Mark sleeps. I watch the lights of 
Salt Lake City fade away. 

Endnote: Stone Reader was covered by 
indie WIRE and received a glowing review in 
Variety after Slamdance. The film screened in 
Los Angeles at the American Cinematheque 
as part of Slamdance's Best Of series. We 
remain hopeful about distribution. 

Robert Goodman is the consulting producer for 

Stone Reader, the author of a forthcoming book 

on editing, and an Emmy nominated director 

Send your comments to robert@stonereader.net 



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April 2002 THE INDEPENDENT 31 



Blood of Many Poets 

Short films are the laboratories of cinema 

BY Rachel Tsangari 





Cinematexas, founded by Rachel 
Tsangari, celebrates the poetics of 
the short form. 



"Short films are the laboratories of 
cinema" is the conviction that I and a 
group of similarly inflamed partners in 
crime set out to celebrate when we started 
the Cinematexas Short Film + Video + New 
Media Festival in 1996. Who would have 
thought that this University of Texas- 
based program would so rapidly grow to be 
one of the most significant international 
short film festivals in the country, showing 
over three hundred films over five days? 

But quantity is hardly a qualifier for qual- 
ity, as length is hardly a qualifier for cinema. 



and Cinematexas was established as a home 
for work that is brave in its brevity. 

How brief is a short film, really? "The 
frame is eyelids," says Michael Snow, the 
Canadian artist who has never compro- 
mised, surrendered, rested, nor looked 
away. What would be the shortest film 
imaginable? A film without a plot, with a 
camera movement, without a camera 
even? What, after all, could be more cin- 
ematic than a single human glance, sus- 
pended for a brief moment on the screen? 

Could cinema exist without a screen, a 
theater, an audience? Is cinema today able 
to be content-provoking, instead of mere- 
ly content-providing? 

In recent years the dotcom rediscover^' 
of the short form (after all, it's nothing 
new) has spawned a legion of work that 
tries to be big and ends up looking small. 
We will ignore these works. "Product" 
belongs on grocery store shelves; the cin- 
emaphile seeks something else altogether. 
Short is sweet only when it dares to be 
brave. 

How brave can a short film be? Touched 
by passion, inspired by rebellion, they can 
stubbornly expkire lands of rare and fragile 
images, sounds, mirrors, gestures, ideas. 
They are road trips into the heart of innov- 
ati\'e and groundbreaking cinema. And like 
all road trips with no tixed destination, 
maps or rental cars, they explore new alter- 
native routes, secret lands of fragile yet vis- 
ceral images. 

On this journey short films traverse the 
ever- evolving, crucial landscape of anti- 
cinema. And I call it that, because short 
films (our short films), like the antibodies 
developed by an organism to fight a dis- 
ease, are the immune system of cinema. 
By their defiance of tired tropes, stale gen- 
res, and vacuous representation, they 
arduously defend the stamina and integri- 
ty of the moving image, whether on cellu- 
loid or digital. 

For audience members, exposure to all 
these new testimonies of re -generated life 
leaves us invigorated: trustful that cine- 
ma, in spite of pessimistic predictions, is 



not just alive: it's 
constantly and 
stubbornly reborn. 
Kicking and scream- 
ing, breathing and 
shrieking, resisting 
confinement, 
bouncing all over those hundred years in 
suspension of disbelief. 

And if silver halide or magnetized parti- 
cles are the itchy flesh of cinema, what is 
its blood? What are the red cells, carrying 
oxygen to the muscles, brain, and viscera? 
What are the white cells fighting off infec- 
tion, protecting the body from invasion, 
decay, and even from itself? What makes 
cinema blush? What makes it shiver, shud- 
der, and spill its precious bodily fluids? 

Shorts allow cinema artists to take the 
risks that are otherwise pre-empted by the 
lumbering mechanics of the feature 
process. They allow makers to leap with 
faith into the void, because even if they 
fail gloriously it is but briefly, then it is 
already time to make the next leap of love. 
Short films are the passionate glances 
of cinema poets. Shy, soulful, bold, sub- 
versive; they take but a moment but can 
change a lifetime. They fix the truth of 
right now onto chemical emulsions and 
magnetized particles and preserv'e it and 
explode it. Short filmmakers are the tran- 
scendental poets of cinema: from those 
that are trying to find their voice to those 
tr>'ing to change the world. 

Godard once said that "technique is a 
moral act." The preser\'ation, exhibition, 
and expansion ot cinema as we've known 
it, and as we're about to re-engage with it 
at the threshold of convergent media, is 
similarly a moral act. Not moralistic, not 
righteous, simply what needs to be done. 
Our responsibility' as image makers, 
spectators, curators, activists, life partici- 
pants is to keep holding these tiny mirrors 
up between historv- and memory-, reality 
and dream, reality- and its reflections, 
reflections and their realities, the human 
flesh and its reincarnation on celluloid or 
digital bits. And to do so sacrilegiously, 
unapologetically, blissfully. 



Rachel Tsangari' s feature film The Slow 

Business of Going was the Independent cover 

story in July 2001 . She is the founding director of 

Cinematexas aivi also programs for 

festivals and cinematheques in Europe. 



32 THE INDEPENDENT April 2002 



Short Stuff: 

It is a bit artificial to characterize a body of work solely 
by length: particularly when 'short' means anything up to 
an hour, depending on who you are talking to. 

Often simpler (often cheaper!) to produce — but usually 
more challenging to distribute— shorts can be the most 
independent of independent work. Shorts can also be 
mini versions of commercial entertainment; and with 
advances in technology and in producers' skill and savvy, 
it's getting harder to distinguish animations from ILM 
(Industrial Light and Magic) from IDM (I Did it Myself). 

In general, a more manageable scale means a lower 
economic barrier, and the dearth of commercial distribu- 
tion opportunities requires shorts producers to find cre- 
ative ways to get their work to audiences. 

"It's just as much work and almost as expensive to 
acquire, negotiate a contract, work with the filmmaker to 
collect elements and market a short as it is a feature," 
explains Debra Zimmerman, Executive Director of Women 
Make Movies, a New York-based non-profit distributor 
celebrating its thirtieth year "Multiply that work by five 
or six if you are making a compilation. The economies 
just aren't there." 

Fortunately, Women Make Movies and a host of other 
distributors continue to champion the short form. In 
recent years, Internet companies looking to diversify 
their revenue streams helped mine new markets. And for 
little more than the cost of a UPC code, independents 
can turn their promotional tapes into sales units, and 
with the falling costs of DVD production even more short 
filmmakers may take up self distribution. 

What follows could be considered a compilation of 
shorts: short articles that address the subject of shorts, 
from conception to distribution. 

— Elizabeth Peters 



_ 6 to 1, Half a 
Dozen to Another 

Austin shorts celebrate DV technology 

' BY Chad Nighols 




The Six in Austin crew, from left: Zack and Wyatt Phillips, Nathan Zellner, Bob 
Ray, Gonzo Gonzales, David Zellner, Cat Chandler, Geoff Marslett. 



OW DO YOU GO ABOUT MAKING A SHORT 
ON A short's budget and end up with 
a feature? Just ask Wyatt and Zack 
Phillips who conceived the film, Six in 
Austin, which screened as part of the 
narrative features showcase this year at 
South by Southwest. The film is a col- 
lection of six shorts, all filmed in Austin by local filmmakers. The 
whole idea started with a film called Six in Paris. Made in 1965, 
Six in Paris was a collaboration between six of the French New 
Wave's stalwarts — Godard, Chabrol, and Rohmer, among oth- 
ers^ — to celebrate two things: the fascinating landscape of urban 
Paris and the advent of portable 16mm technology. When the 
Phillipses came across the film in their studies at the University 
of Texas, they were struck by its unique structure and purpose. 
Explains Zack, "My brother, Wyatt, immediately had the idea: 
'This would be really great to do in Austin.' We could do it on 
digital which now is almost the equivalent of the new technolo- 
gy that's coming out." 

But envisioning a project involving six filmmakers is one thing 
and executing it, quite another. The idea was to involve estab- 
lished filmmakers to ensure a finished project. Fortunately, find- 
ing interested parties wasn't a problem. "We'd approached dif- 
ferent friends of ours and just sort of pitched it as an idea, and 
everyone we talked to said, 'Yes,'" says Zack. Kat Candler, who 
had previously written, directed, and edited the award-winning 
feature, cicadas, recalls, "Zack Phillips whispered for me to come 
outside so he could tell me something because it was top secret. 



April 2002 THE INDEPENDENT 33 




Carlos, from Wyatt and Zack Phillip's entry in the Six in Austin compilation. 

I don't think I even hesitated or asked any questions, just agreed 
to participate." 

Even with such enthusiasm, things remained hypothetical 
until the brothers recruited Gonzalo Gonzalez, a regular of the 
Austin small-gauge collective Cinemaker Coop, and producer of 
the feature, Moonlight by the Sea. "Gonzo really got the fire mov- 
ing in us. He kind of spurred along the project and we found 
some great producers to come in and help us coordinate the 
thing." The great producers of whom Zack speaks are Anne del 
Castillo, of Austin Film Society fame, and Tamara Klindt, a vet- 
eran of the local film and theater scenes. Del Castillo remarks, 
"When I was at the Film Society, I could see all these different 
little groups forming but no crossover." Six seemed like a viable 
way to bring some of these different elements together. 

The final Six in Austin lineup features the brothers Nathan 
and David Zellner, whose feature Frontier debuted at the 2001 
SXSW; Gonzalez; Candler; Geoff Marslett, who's currently fin- 
ishing up the animated feature, Trip to Roswell; Bob Ray, helms- 
man of the rock and roU/stoner/action flick. Rock Opera, and the 
Phillipses. Although all of the participants had completed fea- 
tures and many had other projects already in the works, the deci- 
sion to do Six was a no-brainer. By using digital video, they could 
keep production costs minimal, and with a producer to focus on 
fundraising, they could concentrate exclusively on the creative 
process. The Phillips brothers were adamant that there should be 
no common thread between the films, not so much as a shared 
actor, in order to give the individual directors the green light to 
really do things on their own terms. The only stipulation was 
that the films in some way incorporate the idea of Austin. 

This was more than just a continuity consideration. As Del 
Castillo points out, "This diversity of filmmakers coming togeth- 
er for a project like this is definitely inherently Austin." Candler 
adds, "I think there's a lot of talented individuals in this town but 
there's a lack of business minded folks to support them. One of 
the main things I wanted to get out of this was for Austin talent 
to get recognized by producers and business types. I don't want to 
have to move to Los Angeles or New York. I think I'd die." 

Chad Nichols is an Austin-based musician and writer. 



Short Essays 

Documenting the practice of D-words 

BY Karolina Tehle 



"**^ 




Accountant Howard 
Sellgman, the subject of Jill 
Chamberlain's short doc 
about financing films with 
credit cards, i/V//7^ 0/7 
Borrowed Time. 




DocmakerJill Chamberlain. 



The movement from media arts 
^ MPj centers to home editing stations 

F—- JL^HI^ means that today's independent 

documentary makers often work in 
isolation. Maybe they're even a lit- 
tle lonely. And they're sure handy 
with computers. 

That might explain the success 
of The D-Word Community-, an 
online discussion forum for docu- 
mentary' professionals. Established 
by filmmaker (and AIVF board 
member) Doug Block during the process of making his 1999 doc- 
umentary' Home Page, D-Word has grown from one filmmaker's 
diary into a thriving international community. Now hosted by 
Utne Cafe, The D-word Community accommodates discussion 
of everything from nonlinear editing 
systems to philosophical quandries 
to the benefits of Omega3 supple- 
ments. Community members pro- 
vide each other with much needed 
support through the long process ot 
making non-fiction work. 

Put a hunch ot filmmakers 
together and they'll gleefully talk 

film. Eventually, a few will wonder why they're just talking about 
it and get to work continuing the con\'ersation using their medi- 
um ot choice. 

So was born the first D-Word collaboration. Essays on 
Documentary, a collection of short docs on the subject of mak- 
ing dcKS. "This 
seemed to 
grow pretty 
naturally out 
ot OUT on-line 
discussions," 
says Block. 
"Get creative 
people 
together and 
they'll want 
to work with 
each other. 
Ultimately, it 
seemed like 
time to pick 
up a camera." 
The concept for the production was to create a package of 
short films, conceived and created to play well when streamed 
over the Web. The package itself could be combined in various 
ways to create programs that could he sold to tele\-ision or 
screened at festivals. 




Robert Goodman shows off his festival badge 
collection in his short on the life of a doc maker 



34 THE INDEPENDENT April 2002 



Prospective topics were discussed by the full community, and 
Essays on Documentary was elected. Four supervising producers 
worked with the nine producers who elected to contribute work. 
Based in cities from San Francisco to Munich, they worked col- 
laboratively to view streamed edits and advise each other. "This 
was ambitious, and we were a little ahead of the technology," 
says Philadelphia-based producer Robert Goodman, who pro- 
duced a short shot on FiD. "We ended up relying on low tech 
methods and mailing video tapes to each other." 

Online collaboration remained a key part of the creative 
process. The final projects ranged from 40 seconds to six min- 
utes. Last spring they were offered online by docuweb.org and 
the project itself received notice in the national trades. 

Following September 11, D-Word members channeled their 
conflicted responses into their next collaboration, War and Peace, 



a compilation of works that has screened at various venues and 
was invited to the Amsterdam International Documentary 
Festival last winter. The project is also streamed on the D-Word 
site. "The process was totally different," says Block. "The first 
project was somewhat regimented, and War and Peace just came 
together very organically and democratically." 

War and Peace is currently screening in public venues that 
allow it to catalyze public discussion of the complex issues it 
invokes. D-Word members have not yet begun discussion of 
their next collaboration, but they're sure to get around to it — 
once they resolve that Omega3 debate. 

To view the streamed works, learn more about The 
D-Word, or register for the online discussion community, 
visit www.d-word.com. 



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Karolina Tehle lives in New York. 



Epics in Brief ~| 

Short filmmaker mines big visions "^^^P 

«" BY Chad Duerksen^ 



As A FILMMAKER, GiLLEY HEBERT REFUSES TO TAKE THE EASY WAY OUT 

In three years, the 21 -year-old Houston native has already 
made three large-scale shorts: a 1960s psychological thriller, a 
parody of the "Evil Dead" films featuring children in the title 
roles, and a silent tribute to classical Hollywood. His current pro- 
ject, When Knight Falls in the City, is his biggest challenge yet — a 
16mm 1940s crime drama/superhero serial — but neither the 
period aspect nor the large cast deters the writer/producer/edi- 
tor/director/actor from his vision. 

"I can't make a movie in my backyard," he said. "When I write 
a story, I don't look at what I have, I let it go where it needs to 
go. I'll worry about where to get the ballroom later." 

Indeed, Knight Falls does feature a large ballroom sequence, 
which required a room full of extras decked out in 1940s fashions 
and hairstyles. Shooting in College Station, 
Houston, Galveston and Austin, TX, the 40- 
minute film is actually a segment of a much larg- 
er story, inspired by the likes of Dick Tracy and 
The Spirit. 

"The film is set up like two chapters of what 
was originally planned to be a six- chapter serial. 
Since then, we've decided to turn it into two fea- 
ture films with twelve chapters in all — When 
Knight Falls in the City and When Knight Falls in 
the Jungle. We're actually working on fundraising 
and are in the very early stages of development." 

Hebert is no stranger to working within a 
much larger canvas than what's generally seen on 
screen. His first film, The Two Days In Between, is 
actually a sequel and a prequel to two other sto- 
ries he's conceived but not yet shot, and bridges 
the larger films together. But Lil Dead, an 8- 
minute spoof of Evil Dead, is his most popular 
title. Although the film's initial VHS run of 300 
copies sold out through Hebert's production 



company website, a new DVD release with an improved transfer 
from Super 8 is in the works. 

Hebert's inspirations range from silent films to serials, comic 
books to camp classics, from the Rat Pack to Universal monster 
movies. He's also adamant about shooting on film, a notion that 
seems, to some, frivolous in today's digital video age. 

"It's a shame because there are so many talented moviemak- 
ers out there who can't get any recognition because of all the 
guys who run out, turn on their video cameras and call them- 
selves 'film' makers. I stopped shooting video in high school." 

No matter the medium, Hebert is determined to find success, 
and faithfully rejects the idea of failure. 

"As a little kid, everyone tells you that you can be anything 
you want." he said. "Then you graduate high school and people 
are like, 'Movies, that's great.... What's your back-up plan?'" 

He smiles wryly before answering. "I don't have one. This is it." 

MXM/Maximum Entertainment's website: 
www.mxmentertainment.com 

Chad Duerksen is an award- winning screenwriter based in Austin, TX. 




April 2002 THE INDEPENDENT 35 



Brave Horizons 

Don't ring the death knell for the short film 
boom just yet! „ . 

BY Kim Adelman 



A FEW YEARS AGO AT THE ATLANTA FiLM & ViDEO FESTIVAL I WAS 
on a panel entitled "The Short Film Renaissance." The organiz- 
er proclaimed, "Thanks to the Internet, DVD, and other distrib- 
ution avenues, the long overlooked short film has become a mar- 
ketable commodity." 

With all the excitement generated by AtomFilms and other 
rapid-growth distribution and exhibition companies, it certainly 
did appear that the short film had finally won its place in the sun. 
That year at the Palm Springs International Short Film Festival 
and Market unsigned filmmakers were besieged by dotcom 
acquisitions executives armed with sizable checkbooks. My con- 
tribution to the renaissance was producing mass-market short 
film compilations on DVD, distributed as volumes of Short 
Cinema Journal. Somehow the company I worked for had con- 
vinced Warner Home Video that there was a mass market for 
short films. 

We all believed the hype. Now cut to 2002. Most of the 
acquisition execs are jobless, and the DVD company I worked for 
is history. 

The boom mentality fueled by dotcom mania may be gone, 
but short format filmmaking is alive and well. To give them their 
due, the dotcoms did open up untapped markets and pioneer 
brand new revenue streams from which filmmakers are still ben- 
efiting. 

During the dotcom goldrush, filmmakers began to believe they 
could get rich off their shorts. And like all those out of work 
execs, filmmakers need to perform some expectation modifica- 
tion. "How much can one expect to get in today's marketplace.'' 
Sometimes not a lot, sometimes a tremendous amount," explains 
Andrew Weiner, senior director of acquisitions and development 
for Hypnotic, a production and marketing company that man- 
aged to weather the changes through aggressively developing 
partnerships. "It really depends. Some films turn into phenoms, 
licensing to tons and tons of markets and fetching a fairly high 
value. Others are truly fantastic movies, but they generate next 
to no revenue." 

What's radically changed is not really how much a film can 
make, but how little a film can cost to make. "The advent of the 
digital camera has made filmmaking more accessible to everyone 
out there who wants to make a short," proclaims John Halecky, 
manager of programming at iFilm. "The tools are readily avail- 
able. Take your DV camera, firewire into your computer. Edit 
right at home, put on music, credits, and graphics. You're done." 
Halecky notes that iFilm gets many submissions arriving on a 
mini-DV tape or burned onto a CD. "Some of the digital projects 
sent to us are amazing." 

"There are some really talented filmmakers working in digital 
video right now," concurs Sundance Film Festival programmer 
Trevor Groth. "It's a logical transition since there is very little 
revenue generated from shorts, so to spend all that money on 
film to tell some of these stories doesn't make a lot of sense. And 
now with the quality being what it is, it just makes a lot of sense 

36 THE INDEPENDENT April 2002 



to shoot on video." Groth estimates that nearly half of the 2,500 
short films submitted to the 2002 Sundance Film Festival were 
made digitally. 

In most cases, short filmmakers have the kind of absolute cre- 
ative freedom that feature directors dream of They control their 
own budget, get final cut, and have total say on marketing. 
Because the format itself has no rules regarding length, structure, 
or content, anything goes. "You'll see stuff you couldn't imagine," 
marvels Groth. 

Even filmmakers who have been lucky enough to get sponsors 
to pay for their productions cling to the artistic freedom the short 



Left, top: Short Cinema Journal 
DVD#5: "Diversity" 

Left, bottom: Short Cinema Journal 
DVD#10: "Chaos" 

Right: Don Hertzfeldt's Academy 
Award nominated short Rejected. 

Below: Gasline garnered the 2002 
Sundance Film Festival's Jury Prize. 




format encourages. Jason Reitman's gulp was produced via 
AtomFilms program with Ford Focus. Although the car had to be 
a prominent part of the plotline, Reitman was allowed full creative 
reign. The resulting film was recently named by The iFilm Internet 
Movie Guide one of the "50 Best Short Films on the Web." 

"It's not about the money, it's not about the prestige, it's about 
getting your film seen by an audience," Groth reminds filmmak- 
ers. "Make the testi\'al route. Show your work in as many festi- 
vals as possible. People always ask me if I need world premieres 
at Sundance for the shorts program. No. I think shorts need to 
be seen in as many theatres as possible." 

Once a film finishes the festival circuit, it can begin to play the 
ancillary markets. With the proliferation of cable networks, 
domestic television has become a growing marketplace. HBO 
and other pay channels license shorts as filler programming. Sci- 
Fi has a dedicated showcase. Exposure, for which the channel 



c o 

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X Aa\ a 
Co nJsma/vc'?- 



both acquires and commissions films. Both IFC and the 
Sundance Channel also have devoted programming blocks. In 
fact, Sundance Channel celebrates the shortest day of the year 
by running nothing but shorts all day long. Don't forget PBS, the 
grand patron of the arts, with the national program Independent 
Lens and dozens of station-produced anthology programs. 

And then there's the Internet. Although a true number would 
be impossible to nail down, it's estimated that there are at least 
10,000 shorts on the Web. Filmmaker Amy Talkington was com- 
pletely flabbergasted when The New Arrival went up on at 
AtomFilm's website and the very next day she got an email from 

someone in Brazil who 
watched her film. That's 
the miracle of the Internet. 
In the very near future, 
DVD encoding, authoring, 
and burning will become 
widely accessible desktop 
filmmaking tools. The 
resulting DVDs might not 
have the distribution out- 
reach of Warner Home 
Video, but they'll find their 
market. Remember when 
the terrific short George 
Lucas in Love was issued on 
VHS and sold on Amazon? 
It ranked higher in sales 
than Lucas's own Star Wars 
— Episode I: The Phantom 
Menace. I foresee similar 
miracles in the future. 

Perhaps everything we've 
seen so far in the short film 
world is just a little blip 
compared to the big boom 
that is coming. Certainly 
the digital revolution will 
continue to transform the 
way films are made, exhibit- 
ed and marketed. Who 
really knows what tomor- 
row's technological innovations will be? 

Windows of opportunity open and close in the short film 
world. As short filmmakers, your best defense is to spread the 
distribution of your film as wide as possible and embrace every 
opportunity that comes your way. Take a page from Mark 
Osborne's playbook. Just when it seemed as if he exploited every 
possible venue for More, he recut it and got it played as a music 
video on MTV2. In a few years time when everyone will be 
watching shorts on cell phones. More will be undoubtedly play- 
ing there, too. 

Kim Adelman currently teaches Making and Marketing the Short Film at 

UCLA Extension. Previously she was the content editor for the DVD series 

Short and International Release. For the Fox Movie Channel, 

she produced 19 short films which played over 150 film festivals 

worldwide and won 30+ awards. 




Short Scenarios 

Bringing communities together for health education 

BY Elizabeth Peters 



Janet Aponte has something to say. "Some teachers here 
think they need to talk down to our level," the Queens, New 
York sophmore explains. "My friends and I think it's silly. Teens 
like to be spoken to like adults. It's not like we go and look up 
ten-syllable words just so we can talk to you, so why do adults 
treat us differently?" 

Aponte had a chance to illustrate this point with her script for 
An Objective Point of View, a short film produced by 
ScenariosUSA. Last fall she worked with directors Jim McKay 
and Hanah Weyer and a professional crew to bring her vision to 
the screen. Later this year, the short will be used in classrooms 
across the country to support English, dramatic arts, and sexual 
health curricula. 

"There is an incredible amount of talent out there, particular- 
ly in places most would never think it existed: Rikers 
Island, homeless shelters," says 
ScenariosUSA co-director Maura 
Minsky. "The stories these kids 
wanted to tell are amazing. It was 
just a matter of people asking." 

Dedicated to "Kids Creating 
Social Change," ScenariosUSA 
was started by Minsky, a former 
ABC producer, and Kristin 
Joiner, who formerly worked for 
Global Dialogues, a West Africa- 
based NGO with a focus on 
reproductive health issues. 
Global Dialogues produces 
Scenarios from the Sahel, a pro- 
ject dedicated to health educa- 
tion that has collected over 
22,000 stories from African chil- 
dren and produced seven as short 
films with international distribu- 
tion. Minsky and Joiner now coor- 
dinate ScenariosUSA full time. 

The program pairs teen writers 
with professional filmmakers, 
and everyone wins. The script 

writing contest provides a way for teachers to introduce complex 
issues into the classroom; the young people who work on projects 
are mentored by professionals, gaining skill and self esteem; and 
the filmmakers themselves have an opportunity to use their skills 
to make a difference. "Each crew member mentors a young per- 
son, which participants have found incredibly rewarding," 
says Joiner. "A grip can donate two days of labor and help make 
a film that goes to classrooms across the county. There's a huge 
ripple effect." 

There are currently four completed films, two in post, and 
three in preproduction. In addition to educational distribution, 
the shorts have aired on MTV, PBS, CBS, NBC, and Oxygen. 




Top, from left: directors Hanah 
Weyer and Jim IVIcKay; writer Janet 
Aponte; script supervisor Setli 
Copans. Below, the crew at work. 



April 2002 THE INDEPENDENT 37 



"ScenariosUSA producer Avram Ludwig (Swingers) gave our 
first budget the working title, Maura and Kristin Do the 
Impossible" laughs Minsky. "We had assumed that most things 
would be donated. It turns out that it wasn't impossible: every 
single project has been almost entirely donated." ScenariosUSA 
has received funds from foundations, including Paul Robeson, 
Hewlett, and Constatin; support from over 800 community orga- 
nizations; in-kind donations from Kodak and other production 
resources; and the donation of time and skill from a host of film- 



s • c • • • • 



• • • 9 • « ' 



• «•«»« 



Silver Screenings 



The Return of theatrical shorts 



BIC FILM 






BY Jason Guerrasio 



Tired of going to the movie theater only to be bombarded 

with advertisements before the movie starts/ Audience members 

in Portland, OR, were and started a trend 

that when ads came on they would throw 

food and drinks at the screen, which ^ €'j _y _ .^ ki ^ 

inevitably made the 

theater stop running 

the ads. Incidents 

like this made it 

clear to theater 

owners that people 

are tired of what 

they've been seeing 

before features and 

want a change. 

For six years Big 
Film Shorts has 
been developing a 
way to get shorts 
back in theaters. A 

theater in Lincoln, Nebraska has been showing BFS shorts for 
years, which has demonstrated that there is a theatrical market 
for short films. Today, BFS represents hundreds of filmmakers 
who have gained much success in the major international festi- 
vals. With his stable of recognized filmmakers and their work, 
BFS founder David Russell believes that multiplexes will take his 




Toy Soldier, made by Jackie and Catherine May and 
distributed by Big Film Shorts. 



makers including Michael Apted, Doug Liman, Adam Davidson, 
and Tamara Jenkins. 

"It's a program that brings all the elements together," Minsky 
sums up. "It's an opportunity to use media at its highest power 
for social change." 

For information on the program, the films, and how you 
can contribute, visit www.scenariosusa.org. 

Elizabeth Peters is publisher and acting editor of The Independent. 



proposal seriously and start to show short films before their fea- 
tures. "The theater owners want it," says Russell. "They want to 
give the space, the time, and they want that creative element in 
the mix." 

One of the major multiplex chains — who wish to remain 
anonymous until they are ready to program shorts nationwide — 
have already made a deal with BFS to rent five to seven minute 
shorts to screen in 77 of their theaters across the country'. The 
program has already started on the West Coast and will expand 
in the future. But don't expect to be seeing these shorts playing 
before any HoU^^'ood blockbusters just yet. At the moment they 
are playing before independent films on arthouse 
screens. "The more that we're getting it out there the 
more we're starting to attract theater owners who say 
they'd love to have them," says Russell. BFS recently 
developed Tigris Films, Inc., another branch of distrib- 
ution that they will share with filmfinder.com. 

Canada, New Zealand and Switzerland are also 
interested in participating in developing the program. 

"Fortunately, our international clients continue to 
expand and develop programming needs for the short 
film. The U.S. markets ha\'e not surged forward to lead 
the world in this growing arena," explains Russell. 
"Maybe the national theatrical exhibition will perk 
things up." 



Big Film Shorts is currently seeking short work that might 
be appropriate for theatrical exhibition. For more informa- 
tion, see www.bigfilmshorts.com. 

Jason Guerrasio is an intern ac The Independent. 



i M -' 



"If you are defining 'short' in rela- 
tion to 'feature-length,' then 
almost 100% of our collection is 
'short,' ranging from one minute 
to an hour," says Electronic Arts 
Intermix director Lori Zippay. 
"But 'short' seems to refer to a the- 
atrical distribution context, which is not the typical context for 
video art. Our collection tends to be distributed and seen within 
an artworld context, rather than through theatrical release." 

In the late 1960s video fell into the hands of artists who exploit- 
ed its relative ease of use and low expense to create an under- 
ground movement. EAI was founded in 1971 by New York City 



Art' Is Our Middle 

l^lan le EAI celebrates 30 years 

BY Karolina Tehle 



galler\' owner and early \'ideo 
advocate Howard Wise, with a 
mission to support video as "a 
means of personal and creative 
expression and communication." 
A generation later, EAI today 
distributes over 3,000 works and 
continues to support \'ideo artists and audiences in a \-ariet\- of 
ways, nurturing the form from production to preser\-ation. 

To commemorate its anni\'ersar\', EAI has commissioned "The 
EAI Archives Online: A Kinetic History-," a digital resource that 
will document the history- of EAI and also illuminate the e\-olu- 
tion of video as an artistic movement. Primary- materials, includ- 



38 THE INDEPENDENT April 2002 



ing documents, catalogues, video footage, and 
ephemera, will be presented online, supple- 
mented by essays that provide critical context. 

Even while celebrating its past, EAI con- 
tinues to look forward, with a vastly expand- 
ed online catalogue of work that includes 
quicktime clips of artists' work and new work 
created particularly for the Web. Those tired 
of online sites seemingly devoted to commer- 
cial trailers or calling card films will be 
refreshed by a visit and the opportunity to see how electronic 
artists have embraced new tools to keep video free from its box. 

Recent mainstream delight with short films and digital video 
might explain the dramatic surge in sales EAI has enjoyed over 
the past five years. "EAI's works are seen around the world (last 
year we distributed works in 27 different countries), at museums, 
arts and cultural centers, galleries, universities, alternative exhi- 




Still from Video Tape Study No. 3, 1966-69, 
Nam June Paik and Jud Yalkut. 



bition spaces, festivals, and on television," 
says Zippay. 

From Nam June Paik to Tony Cokes, EAI 
has always worked with individuals willing to 
take creative risks. "Those attracted to this 
form tend to be visual artists who use video 
as an art-making tool precisely because the 
medium — and the contexts in which it is 
exhibited — can be so flexible," Zippay explains. 
"Many of the works in our collection are 
highly conceptual or experimental. And that means their length 
is dictated by content and concept, not by an external distribu- 
tion mechanism." 

For more information on Electronic Arts Intermix and its 
year-long celebration, see www.eai.org. 

Karolina Tehle lives in New York. 



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McCormick was thrilled to 
take his film to Sundance 



Steps for Sucx:ess 

Tips for those who desire fame & fortune 

BY Matt McCormick 



Ain't nobody getting 
RICH AND famous from 
making short under- 
ground films... it might be 
impossible to even make a living from 
the practice. The most successful short 
filmmakers to date have relied on teach- 
ing, currating, and commercial work to 
get by, and they are certainly never 
stopped and asked for autographs. 

Short film just gets a bad rap: assault- 
ed by bad student films, Hollywood 
wanna-be's, and pretentious art films, 
audiences have learned to fear short 
films. The current outlets for shorts 

haven't helped much either, with film festivals segregating cate- 
gories and formats, and film-viewing websites that are really just 
lessons in how to download needed software. Either way, short 
filmmakers continue to live in obscurity and crummy apartments. 
I have always found this dilemma to be of particular concern, 
since my life -long goals are in fact to be both famous and rich. 
Here in Portland, Oregon, we are working hard to solve these 
problems, and through specific research and years of practice 
have developed a sure-fire solution with an easy, six-step pro- 
gram that promises to get any short filmmaker into the spotlight. 

McCormick's Six Steps to the Spotlight™ 

STEP 1: Set up your own shows. Tired of being rejected from 
film festivals? Then get a screen and a projector and do it your- 
self You can design the posters and put your name on top. Be 
sure to include your piece on the preview tape that gets sent to 
all the newspapers. 



STEP 2: Show other filmmakers' work with your own. Choose 
work that will ensure the audience has a good time, and ask film- 
makers how many friends they have when making your final 
selections. 

STEP 3: Get videos out there. Put several of your best films 
together on one tape and make lots of copies at a duplication 
company (you won't get famous making tapes on your VCR one 
at a time). Use your artistic skills and the resources at Kinko's to 
make creative packaging for your tapes: the right packaging 
determines whether a film goes onto the shelf or into the trash- 
can. Send the tapes to all your friends and give them to any film- 
makers, wealthy people, or celebrities that you meet. 



STEP 4: Put other filmmakers' work on 
videotapes with your own. Choose filmmak- 
ers whose work will be sure make the tape 
interesting, and once again be sure to ask 
them how many friends they have. 

STEP 5: Organize the film screenings and 
the tape distribution into one well-knit 
package. Think of a flashy name to go by so 
that the various efforts can be identified as 
coming from the same source. (A few of the 
names that are no longer available: Rodeo 
Film Co., Peripheral Produce, Animal 
Charm, Other Cinema, Charm Bracelet, 
Joanie 4 Jackie, etc.) 



"^ri : 



^ Collection of 
i Siiort Film v.nd Videos 
Sl^ ^ by Vanetsa Renwicfc 



Be sure to use snappy 
box art for your videos! 



STEP 6: Repeat steps 1-4 over and over and over (for how long 
we really are not sure) . 

[Editor's note: Please be advised that Matt McCormick is not 
known to be rich or famous.] 

Matt McCormick's short The Subconscious Art of Graffiti Removal 

toured the world and was mistakenly included in the 2002 Sundance Film 

Festival. It's part of a compilation VHS available from 

vuww.peripheralproduce.com. Peripheral Produce runs regular screenings, 

distributes work by 40 artists, and is currently planning the Portland 

Documentary and experimental (PDX) Film Festival for December 2002. 



April 2002 THE INDEPENDENT 39 



staff Picks 

AIVF staft share favorite resources 



RESfest Hits the Road 

Resfest is a touring festival of fun, funky, 
fabulous films, music videos, and shorts. 
Last year's festival hit 14 cities worldwide, 
from San Francisco to Rio de Janeiro, 
drawing crowds of over 100,000 with 
screenings, live music events, parties, 
panel discussions, and tech demos. The 
fest dubs itself as a "celebration of innov- 
ative moviemaking," with a heavy slant 
toward digital/new media (it is run by Res 
Magazine after all). With deadlines 
approaching in May and June 2002, it is a 
festival that should be on every short film- 
maker's hit list. For more info check out 
www.res.com. — Bo Mehrad 

Flicker Comes to New Yorl^ 

Flicker, the long running super 8 & 16mm 
film festival, with venues in Athens, GA, 
Austin, TX, and Los Angeles, will pass its 
one year mark at the Knitting Factory in 
Manhattan this May. Flicker NYC's 
bimonthly, sold out shows feature short 
films by local filmmakers, $100 film 
grants, and raffles for super 8 stock and 
$50 worth of super 8 processing at Pac 
Lab. There is also a lending library for 
super 8 equipment in the works. 

"The show is a lot of fun and has devel- 
oped a strong community of under- 
ground/DIY filmmakers who shoot super 
8 in New York," says founder David 
Teague. For more information, check out 
the web site at www.flickernyc.com. 

— James Israel 




David league's Salome, recently screened by Flicker 



40 THE INDEPENDENT April 2002 



Little Films on 
a Really Big Screen 

Open Air Shorts, in conjunction with 
xtronx and CBS, is looking for film shorts 
for its half-hour monthly program pre- 
sented on a 25' by 28' outdoor video 
screen at West 42nd St. (between 7th/8th 
Ave.) in Times Square, New York City. 
The premiere screening in January drew a 
crowded sidewalk of film buffs and curious 
pedestrians. For more information go to 
www.openairshorts.com. — James Israel 

It's All About The Guide 

Let's face it, you've made a short and you 
don't want to just screen it in your living 
room.... It's time to get out there and 
share the vision with audiences and get 
some love back. The AIVF Guide to 
International Film and Video Festivals is a 
fantastic resource for filmmakers trying to 
figure out their festival game plan. The 
book is packed with detailed festival 
descriptions and articles (culled from the 
Independent's archives), plus it's indexed 
four ways to further help you navigate your 
way through upcoming dates and dead- 
lines. The Festival Guide also exists as a 
search engine database on the AIVF web 
site (www.aivf org/info_services/festivals/) , 
which is available to AIVF members only. 

— Bo Mehrad 

Short Scripts Online Launches 
Virtual Marketplace 

Have you written a tilm short script but 
can't find anyone to produce it.' Or are 
you a filmmaker searching for a short 
script to shoot? Then look no turther than 
www.shortscriptsonline.com, a totally free 
online database that provides access to 
short scripts from around the world. "The 
site was created to provide a central loca- 
tion where short scripts can be found 
quickly and with ease," says SSO publish- 
er, Keith Moody. While the actual scripts 
are not posted online, there is a briet 
description and contact information. 
Future plans for SSO include "The First 
Annual Short Scripts Online 10 Page 
Screenwriting Competition" and another 
website, ScriptsWarited.com, which will 
offer market listings for people looking for 
scripts for stage, television, and film. 

— James Israel 





microcinema 
international 



Alan Denman's film Luminoid is distributed 
by Microcinema International 



Exposing it Indie Style 

Created in 1996 by Microcinema, 
Independent Exposure is a short film, 
video and digital media series that travels 
the globe, having reached 32 countries 
(plus Antarctica!), spreading the doctrine 
of short cinema. By distributing works 
through exhibi- 
tion efforts, the 
Microcinema 
website and other 
advocacy efforts, 
they hope to 
"expose, promote and distribute" works to 
the widest global audiences possible. All 
artists are paid an honorarium if their 
work is screened and qualify for a non- 
exclusive exhibition agreement for subse- 
quent screenings. Plus there are no forms 
to fill out, no fees to pay and no deadline. 
Gotta lo\e thati w\vw.microcinema.com. 

— Bo Mehrad 

Bewitched in Aspen 

A friend of a triend once told us that this 
festi\'al, hands down, was one of the 
friendliest, most supportive festivals for 
filmmakers, period. She stated that, while 
it was not a hardcore industry' event, the 
sense of community and appreciation for 
the short film was abundant, and truly 
inspiring. Our friends at indieWIRE say, 
"Aspen Shortsfest might just be one of the 
most enchanting events the film world 
has to offer It does what tew other festi- 
\'als can accomplish: it makes the film 
experience personal." Amen to that! 
April 9-13, Aspen, CO; 970-925-6882; 
www. aspenfilm.org. 

— Michelle Coe 



Often times it seems that film shorts are 
treated as second class citizens in the film 
festival world. Listed here are some of 
the festivals where special attention is 
paid to the art form of the short film. 

UNITED STATES 

Asbury Shorts of New York 

New York, November 

Shorts, under 20 min. in length. Non-competitive. 

www.asburyshorts 

Aspen Shortsfest 

Colorado, April 

A premiere competitive showcase tor short films (up to 

30 min. ). Student and international entries also welcome. 

www.aspenfilm.org/shortsfest 

Chlotrudis Awards Short Film Festival 

Massachusetts, February 

Presented by a non-profit organization that honors and 

supports independent film. 

www.chlotrudis.org 

Cinematexas 

Texas, September 

Emerging as one of the premiere short film festivals in 

the world, test also features multimedia performances 

by musicians, artists, and activists. 

www.cinematexas.org 

Humboldt International Short Film Festiva 

Califomia, April 

Since its inception in 1967, the Fest continues to sup- 
port and celebrate filmmakers working in experimental 
and non-traditional ways. 
www.humboldt.edu/~filmfest 

IFP/Midwest Flyover Zone Short Film Festival 

Illinois, November 

Eligible films must be 30 min. or less and must have 
been produced by IFP/Midwest members or produced in 
the Flyover Zone, or by filmmakers who reside or are 
originally from the Flyover Zone. (The Flyover Zone is 
defined as the area of the United States between New 
York and Los Angeles.) 
www.ifp.org 

Los Angeles International Short Film Festival 

California, October 

Eligible films must have been completed after Jan 1 of 

previous year. 

www.lashortsfest.com 

New York Expo of Short Film and Video 

New York, December 

The fest is the nation's longest-running short film festi- 
val and seeks fiction, animation, doc & experimental 
film & video. Films/videos should be under 60 min. & 
completed in the previous 2 years. Student & interna- 
tional entries welcome. 
www.nyexpo.org 

Phat Shorts, The Film Festival 

New York, April 

Premier NYC venue celebrating the artistry of shorts 

and the community of independent filmmakers. 

www.phatshortsfestival.com 



Resfest Digital Film Festival 

Tours 14 intemational cities each fall 
Annual national/international touring fest seeks short 
films/videos exploring the dynamic interplay of film, art, 
music, and design. The underlying guideline for submis- 
sions is Innovation. 
www.resfest.com 

Short Attention Span Film and Video Festival 

Year round tour 

Annual touring fest of short shorts (3 min. or less) 

premieres in Georgia and California and tours to 30 

cities in North America, Asia, and Europe. 

www.shortspan.com 

Shorts International Film Festival 

New York, November 

Fest aims "to put shorts back on the map." 

Length: 40 min. or less. 

www.shorts.org 

INTERNATIONAL 

Antimatter: 

Festival of Underground Short Film and Video 

Canada, September 

Fest is anti-Hollywood and anti-censorship and dedi- 
cated to film and video as art. Selected works will be 
included in a three-city international tour. 
www.antimatter.ws 

Brest Short Film Festival 

France, November 

Competition open to fiction short films produced/co- 
produced by an EU country. 48 films accepted for com- 
petition and about 30 films incl. in "fringe" screenings 
outside competition. 
www.film-festival.brest.com 

Canadian Film Centre Short Film Festival 

Canada, June 
www.cdnfilmcentre.com 

Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival 

France, February 

Festival presents major international competition with 

over 50 countries represented, screening over 70 films 

to enthusiastic audiences. 

www.clermont-filmfest.com 

Degenere Italy Cinema Como Raoconto 

(formerly Adriaticocinema) 

Italy, August 

The only international competition specifically for shorts 

(max. 15 min.) made by film school students. 

www.comune.rimini.it/cineteca 

Eat My Shorts 

Canada, July 

Comedy short programming as part of Just for Laughs, 

the Montreal International Comedy Festival. 

www.hahaha.com 

Flickerfest International Short Film Festival 

Australia, January 

Australia's premiere short him fest is open to any him 

or video produchon under 30 min. Includes an interna- 

honal short and doc market. Entries must be on film for 

competition (Beta SP accepted for docs). 

www.flickerfest.com.au 



Shorts Fests 



bee www.aivf org/festi 



International Short Film Festival Hamburg 

Germany, June 

Annual festival is a forum for presenhng a diversity of 

international short hims. Shorts must be under 20 min., 

except for Three-Minute Quickie entries. 

www.shortfilm.com 

Kinofilm/Manchester International 
Short Film and Video Festival 

United Kingdom, October 

Categories include: Super 8, No/Low budget. Women in 

Film, Lesbian and Gay, Artists' Film and Video/New 

Media, Experimental and Animation, German 

Experimental, Internahonal Panorama, Underground 

Cinema, Black and Asian Cinemas. 

www.kinofilm.org.uk 

Mostra Curta Cinema: Rio de Janeiro 
International Short Film Festival 

Brazil, November/December 

A non-competitive feshval for 16mm and 35mm hIms. 

www.curtacinema.com.br 

Oberhausen International Short Film Festival 

Germany, May 

The world's oldest short film festival offers a forum for 

aesthetic and technological innovation and reflection. 

www.kurzfilmtage.de 

Namur International Short Film Festival 

Belgium, November 

All-short film festival accepts films 45 min. and under. 
Festival provides hospitality (2 overnight stays & daily 
allowance) for filmmakers whose work is accepted. 

Sao Paolo International Short Film Festival 

Brazil, August 

With a cultural and noncompetitive section, the festival 

is the leading event for the short format in Latin 

America. Entries should have a maximum running time 

of 35 min. All genres accepted. 

www.kinoforum.org 

Siena International Short Film Festival 

Italy, November 

All films must be 30 min. or less. 

www.comune.siena.it/short/corto/htm 

Tampere International Short Film Festival 

Finland, March 

Running time may not exceed 30 min. and films must 

have been completed after Jan. 1 of previous year. 

www.tampere.fi/festival/film 

Uppsala International Short Film Festival 

Sweden, October 

Located north of Stockholm in a university town, fest. 

programs more than 200 internahonal shorts and docs 

and children's hIms. Entries must be under 60 min. 

www.shortfilmfestival.com 

Vila Do Conde International Short Film Festival 

Portugal, July 

For films under 60 min. produced in the previous two yrs. 

www.curtasmetragns.pt 



April 2002 THE INDEPENDENT 41 



(^i^D 



Fight for Your Rights 

Short films, long-term legal issues 



The recent surge in exhibition outlets 
for short films has provoked many media- 
makers working in the genre to think seri- 
ously about licensing the rights to their 
films. Internet venues such as Hypnotic 
and Atom Films/Shockwave, and com- 
mercial markets like the Sundance 
Channel, the Independent Film Channel, 
Comedy Central, and the Sci-Fi Channel 
have broadened the field considerably for 
short filmmakers looking to get their work 
shown. But licensing a short to air in a 
commercial venue concerns legal and 
business issues that are just as involved as 
when working with a feature film. 

One of the key points that mediamak- 
ers face when licensing the rights to their 
short films is the compensation of per- 
formers who are members of unions, like 
the Screen Actors Guild (SAG). 
Mediamakers who have produced shorts 
featuring SAG or other professional per- 
formers should become signatories to one 
of the SAG "low-budget" programs: the 
SAG Experimental Film Agreement 
(SAG-EFA) or the Student Film Letter 
Agreement (SAG-SFLA). The SAG-EFA 
is intended for use in workshop/training 
sessions, for example in film schools, and 
covers any project with a total budget 
under $75,000 that is shot entirely in the 
United States and features SAG or other 
professional performers included in the 
SAG rules, such as AFTRA, AGVA, and 
equity members. The SAG-SFLA is tor 
projects budgeted up to $35,000 with a 35 
minute maximum running time. 

Compensation for professional per- 
formers' is deferred under the SAG-EFA 
and compensation for all performers is 
deferred under the SAG- SFLA until a 
project is distributed commercially, mean- 
ing it has been or will be shown beyond 
the film festival circuit. Under the SAG- 
EFA, mediamakers must obtain each pro- 
fessional performer's written consent, 
while the terms of the SAG-SFLA require 
consent from every performer in the film, 
as well as SAG itself. 

Mediamakers are required to pay each 



LICENSING A SHORT TO AIR 

IN A COMMERCIAL VENUE 

CONCERNS LEGAL AND 

BUSINESS ISSUES THAT 

ARE JUST AS INVOLVED AS 

WHEN WORKING WITH A 

FEATURE FILM. 



BY Robert Seigel 

professional performer at least the mini- 
mum "upgrade" rate noted in the SAG 
Basic Agreement that is applicable to the 
initial distribution of a project beyond film 
festivals. For instance, if a short project is 
initially distributed or exhibited on televi- 
sion or home 
video, then each 
performer must be 
paid the minimum 
rate under the 
SAG Television 
Agreement (this 
agreement covers 
home video, too), 
which is $636 per 
day. Additionally, 
any distribution 

beyond the initial media requires that 
mediamakers pay or insure the payment of 
residuals to professional performers. 
Residuals are a percentage of the distribu- 
tor's gross receipts, which is allocated 
among the professional performers 
according to their respective length ot 
employment. Residuals for "tree" televi- 
sion (e.g., network, local, and syndica- 
tion) and cable television (basic and pay) 
is 3.6% and for videocassettes it's 4.5% on 
the first $1 million and 5.4% thereafter. 

Obviously, payments to SAG are less 
problematic if a short teatures only one or 
two professional performers rather than 
several professional pertormers with 
speaking roles. 

The importance ot clearing music 
rights for any project, whether it is a short 
or a feature, cannot be understated. 
There are generally two types of music 
licenses that mediamakers must secure: 
one, the synchronization license tor the 
use of a musical composition on a pro- 
ject's soundtrack in synchronicity with a 
project's picture; and two, the master use 
license for the use of a recorded perfor- 
mance of a musical composition on a pro- 
ject's soundtrack. 

Generally, mediamakers contact the 
songwriter or publisher of a musical com- 
position when securing a synchronization 



license. When securing a master use 
license for a recording of a musical com- 
position, a mediamaker should contact 
the person or entity that controls and/or 
administers the rights in and to a sound 
recording (a record company, for exam- 
ple) from which approval must be 
obtained. Approaching synchronization 
and master use rights holders or adminis- 
trators for licenses often brings both good 
and bad news. If a project is screening at 
film festivals only, licensors usually will 
provide a "festival use" license at no 
charge or for a small fee, for instance $100 
to $500 for a certain num- 
ber of festivals or a term 
during which a project 
can "travel" the festival 
circuit. Fiowever, if the 
project is exhibited 
beyond film festivals, 
mediamakers should be 
prepared to pay more sub- 
stantial license fees, 
commonly running in the 
thousands of dollars. 
To avoid or limit music licensing costs, 
mediamakers have the option of commis- 
sioning musical compositions and sound 
recordings on a "work for hire" basis, 
maintaining the rights to such musical 
compositions and/or recordings used on a 
project's soundtrack along with its use in 
any publicity' or advertising materials con- 
cerning the project. If a mediamaker and 
a composer or sound recording licensor 
cannot agree on terms for a work-for-hire 
contract, the composer and/or the sound 
recording licensor can retain the rights to 
their respecti\'e works and only grant a 
license to use such musical compositions 
or recordings on the soundtrack of a pro- 
ject, including its publicity and advertise- 
ments. Additionally, mediamakers can 
secure the synchronization rights to a 
musical composition from the appropriate 
licensor and record their own sound 
recording, or "cover version," of the per- 
formance of the musical composition. 
They also can use musical compositions 
and recordings that are not protected by 
copyright law because they are in the pub- 
lic domain. 

Many commercial venues tor shorts, 
such as television channels, require that a 
mediamaker secure an Errors and 
Omission (E&O) insurance policy. An 



42 THE INDEPENDENT April 2002 



E&O policy protects mediamakers — and 
their respective licensees and assigns — 
from third party claims like copyright or 
trademark infringement, violation of any 
person's right of privacy or publicity, or 
claims of defamation. The cost of such 
coverage can range from $2,500 to 
$8,000 (controversial projects with signif- 
icant real life elements tend to be more 
expensive) per year, and generally covers 
any term for a broadcast or any other 
media license that is entered into during 
the policy period. It is wise to consult 
with more than one entertainment insur- 
ance broker before deciding on an insur- 
ance policy. 

Mediamakers should check to see if 
there are any restrictions concerning the 
script or the underlying source material of 
a short before shooting begins, and espe- 
cially prior to entering the commercial 
marketplace. In addition to SAG, the 
Writers Guild of America (WGA) or the 
Directors Guild of America (DGA) may 
become involved if a project's writer or 
director is a union member. 

To complicate matters further, the 
usual media outlets for shorts pay rather 
low licensing fees (e.g., from $500 to 
$3,000 with the latter in rare cases). 
Many people begin to realize that the 
costs of securing the appropriate autho- 
rizations and rights, as well as the pay- 
ment of any E&O coverage, are signifi- 
cantly higher than any license fee for the 
short. So why make a short? The main 
reason comes down to one word: expo- 
sure. The chance to have your work aired 
on a cable channel or the Internet where 
the potential audience is in the tens of 
thousands can assist a mediamaker in 
finding an agent, potential funding 
sources, or a sales agent who can license 
the short, perhaps on a worldwide basis 
and in various media. 

Some would consider the mediamak- 
er's expenditure in time and money to 
license a short a leap of faith to parlay 
one's abilities into possible future oppor- 
tunities. However, by recognizing and 
addressing the legal and business issues 
concerning the licensing of a short, a 
mediamaker can look before such a leap. 

Robert L. Seigel is a NYC entertainment 
attorney and a partner at Daniel, Seigel & 
Bimbler, LLI? a firm that specializes in entertain- 
ment and media laui. rseigel@DSBLLP.com. 




RENTALS 

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Video conferencing 

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digital camcorders & accessories 



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THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT AUSTIN 



April 2002 THE INDEPENDENT 43 



Apple Makes Amends 

FCP 3 improves function and results 

BY Greg Gilpatrick 




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If Apple Computer has a team of spies 
I think they have been following me. 
Apple's Final Cut Pro version 3 includes 
nearly all the features I have been telling 
people I thought were missing or not 
implemented well 

enough in Final Cut Pro 
2. Version 2 of Final Cut 
Pro made significant 
inroads into the profes- 
sional editing market 
with its better media 
management and docu- 
mentation, but I still 
had some complaints. 
There wasn't anything 
inherently wrong with the 
application — I believe 
that it was the best edit- 
ing application at that 
price point. But there 
were whispers of mal- 
content amongst those 



of us who used Final Cut Pro (or "FCP" to 
us insiders) on an ever>' day basis. In the 
back of editing rooms and the corners of 
user group meetings we scrawled notes to 
each other like "The color correction fil- 
ters are no good," 
"it's too slow to ren- 
der," "there's no 
low-res DV offline" 
and the number- one 
complaint of FCP 
users everywhere, 
"the manual is 
too heav^!" 

Apparently, 
Apple either actual- 
ly does have a team 
of super- spies or 
they're just very 
good at listening to 
their customers' 
needs. Either way, 
Final Cut Pro 3 suc- 




Final Cut pro running natively inside 
IVIac OSX looks and behaves almost 
identically to FCP in OSS. The only 
real differences are that v\rindows 
now have little bubbles in the upper 
left corner to close them. 



cessfuUy builds upon the previous 
strengths of version 2 and adds significant 
new features that make it an important 
upgrade for anyone that uses FCP for any- 
thing more than simple cuts-only editing. 
Although there are a number of 
enhancements in FCP 3, the main new 
features are new 
color correction 
filters, real-time 
previews of certain 
effects for DV 
material, low reso- 
lution off-line edit- 
ing of DV materi- 
al, voiceover 
recording, and 
native support for 
Apple's new oper- 
ating system, Mac 
OS X. These new 
features, along 
with the surpris- 
ingly high level of 
quality and stabili- 
ty that the pro- 
gram provides, 
should cement the 
already solid repu- 
tation enjoyed by 
Final Cut Pro in 
the independent 
film and video 
world. 

Final Cut Pro's 
minimum requirements are still the same 
but some of the new features won't be 
available for users with older 03 or even 
some G4-based systems. The real-time 
previews of effects are available only for 
Dual Processor PowerMac G4s or single 
processors at 500 MFiz or higher and 
Powerbook G4s at 667MHz or higher. 
(For those with slower PowerMac G4's 
the Matrox RTMac, IgniterRT, and 
Cinewave RT cards can still provide you 
real-time effect processing. See contacts 
box for info.) Those interested in using 
FCP with Mac OS X will also want to use 
a fast single or dual-processor 04 system. 
Although Apple says Mac OS X works on 
a 03 -based computer — and it does, I'm 
writing this on PowerBook 03 in OS X — 
the demands of both OS X and FOP 
together merit at least a 04 (see sidebar) . 
Of all the new features in FOP I was 
most impressed by the new color correc- 
tion tools. The previous \'ersions ot Final 



niy 



44 THE INDEPENDENT April 2002 



Cut Pro had some of the worst color cor- 
rection filters in any video program. The 
interface and terminology were unintu- 
itive and the results were usually only a 
slight improvement upon the original 
material. The new color correction fea- 
tures in version 3 add a totally new 
dimension to the post process with FCE 
For DV productions, color correction can 
make the difference between looking like 
a home video and looking like a profes- 
sional production. With these tools 
included as part of FCI^ effective color 
correction can now be accomplished 
without spending a fortune at a post facil- 
ity. The color correction tools in FCP 3 
encompass a handful of filters and new 
image analysis tools, such as a waveform 
monitor and vectorscope. The main color 
correction filters. Color Corrector and 
Color Corrector 3 -Way, allow you to 
refine color with an interface that resem- 
bles the trackball used in professional 
color correction suites. A nice extra is 
that if you have a trackball device, you 
can set it up to drive the color correction 
interface, giving a tactile control over the 
color correction process. 

While the color correction tools are 
much more advanced and user-friendly, 
they are still far from intuitive to those 
who are not familiar with color correction 
methods. Thankfully, the FCP 3 manual 
helps out here with authoritative and 
understandable information on the color 
correction process in FCP and video in 
general. In fact, the documentation in ver- 
sion 3 is an improvement upon the manu- 
al in FCP 2. FCP 1 had a skimpy and 
obtuse manual that Apple responded to by 
supplementing FCP 2 with a huge tome 
that was over 1000 pages long. That man- 
ual, while surprisingly well written and 
informative, was a huge pain to lug around 
and even just sitting and reading it was dif- 
ficult. With FCP 3, Apple has split the 
manual into 4 different volumes so that us 
weakling editors of the world won't have 
to carry around such a huge book. 

Although I believe that the new color 
correction tools will have the most pro- 
found effect upon the quality and style of 
independent production finished with 
Final Cut Pro 3, many others aremost 
interested in the real-time effects. The 
ability to process effects in real-time with- 
out additional hardware is impressive, but 
this feature did not strike me as essential 



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and I suspect that it will not be something 
that many editors use on a regular basis. 
For real-time effects FCP 3 offers a hand- 
ful of transitions, the main color corrector 
filter, and some of the motion settings like 
opacity and scale that are able to show a 
lesser-quality preview without having to 
render the clip. Since the real-time pre- 
view is not full quality, all the effects still 
need to be rendered before outputing a 
project to tape. The real-time functions 
are available only for DV material cap- 
tured via firewire at either full or Offline 
RT resolutions. The one limitation that 
severely lessens their functionality' is that 
the video cannot be sent over firewire to 
a broadcast monitor — you must watch 
your real-time effects on the computer 
monitor. The computer monitor probably 
works fine for setting up transitions and 
motion effects but color correction needs 
to be done on a broadcast monitor, 
severely compromising the usefulness of 
the real-time color correction filter. 

Offline RT is a feature that those on a 
budget or on the go will find very attrac- 
tive. While analog video can be saved at a 
lower resolution to save disk space, DV 
N'ideo captured via firewire has a fixed 
datarate and usually cannot be com- 
pressed. Offline RT is FCP 3's new com- 
pression scheme that allows for DV video 
to be saved as smaller files that take up 
less space on a hard drive. DV saved in 
the Offline RT format fits about tv\o 
hours per gigabyte of disk space, as 
lipposed to 40 min. per gig if uncom- 
pressed. The image quality is noticeably 
less than regular DV but still functional 
tor editing purposes, especially when seen 
in the small windows on a computer mon- 
itor. Offline RT \'ideo cannot be played 
over firewire to be seen on a broadcast 
monitor hut individual still frames can. 
Offline RT will be ver>' useful for those 
editing long projects with many hours of 
video without the budget to buy an array 
of hard drives to store the full resolution 
DV. Those editing with a Powerbook will 
also find Offline RT useful since it lessens 
their dependence upon external firewire 
hard drives. 

When finished editing in Offline RT 
mode, an editor uses FCP's Media 
Manager to recapture the DV material at 
online quality. Media Manager's new fea- 
tures make it easier to delete unused 
media from your project without making a 



copy of it, reconnect higher resolution 
media to your sequences, and make a new 
low resolution copy of a project if you 
want to move it to a Powerbook. 

FCP 3 also has a new option for undo- 
ing work you don't like. The Restore 
Project feature allows you to go back in 
time to any one of a number of auto-saved 
projects. This feature is similar to the 
Avid's Attic and is another great feature 
in FCP 3. When you choose Restore 
Project you are given a list of all the time 
and dates for which there are auto-saved 
versions of your project. Choosing one of 
these dates and times will make your pro- 
ject match the state it was at that point. 

The last big new feature in FCP 3 is the 
Voice Over Tool that allows you to record 
audio directly into the timeline as your 
video plays. This tool could be useful for 
those making their own DVDs who want 
to add commentary- or those who want to 
add voice over to their edit. This feature 
works as advertised but I found it unexcit- 
ing because most editing rooms have ter- 
rible sound — voiceovers should be 
recorded in recording studios, which are 
usually not near a video editing setup. 
However, those collaborating over long 
distances could use this feature to record 
notes and critiques of the project and 
then hear it in sync when the project is 
opened elsewhere. 

Although some of Final Cut Pro 3's 
new features are not as useful as others, 
they all work as advertised and altogether 
make a compelling reason for upgrading 
from a previous \'ersion or making the 
switch to FCP from a difterent editing sys- 
tem. Apple still has a few tricks up its 
sleeve for future versions. Version 3 does- 
n't include any features of the Film Logic 
film negative matchback software Apple 
acquired last year and Apple just acquired 
high- end compositing software maker 
Nothing Real. Hopefully the next version 
of FCP will include native film matchback 
tools and a more professional compositing 
system. In the meantime, however, this 
version of Final Cut Pro unquestionably 
delivers the best video editing software in 
its price-range. 



Gycg GHpatrick is an independent producer 

and director and technology comultant 

based in NYC. His enmil address is 

greg@randomroom.com. 



46 THE INDEPENDENT April 2002 



)^ OS X 




lOne of the main new features of Final Cut 
|Pro 3 is that it runs natively inside Apple's 
inew operating-^system, Mac OS X (pro- 
|nounced "Oh Ess Ten") . An operating sys- 
Stem is the software that controls the back- 
round operation of the computer itself 
/hile one may think that Mac OS X is just 
the latest Incremental upgrade from fi^ 
previous system, in actuality OS X is com- 
pletely new to Mac users with new modern 
features that could not have been imple- 
mented in OS 9 or its predecessors. 

Written in the early 1980s, the original 
Macintosh operating system, which OS 9 
is a variant of, missed a lot of the techni- 
cal features that the heavy duty video and 
graphics programs of today crave. Mac OS 
X is a response to that problem, delivering 
the modern architecture needed for 
resource intensive operations like video 
editing or 3D animation. For instance, 
one of OS X's main features is a system 
that distributes memory to applications as 
it becomes available. No longer do you 
need to tell applications how much mem- 



ory to use or define whether virtual mem- 
ory is on or off 

The list of new technical features in OS 
is too long for this article but the bottom 
lfc),e is that OS X provides a solid founda- 
tion on which to run Final Cut Pro or any 
other application. The catch is that to take 
advantage of the new features of OS X 
your programs require an update for them 
to run natively — like FCP 3. By the time 
you read this just about every major Mac 
application will have an OS X native ver- 
sion out but nearly all of them will require 
users to purchase an upgrade. Along with 
the cost of upgrading will be the time need- 
ed to learning a totally new interface. OS 
X's interface, dubbed "Aqua" by Apple, is a 
new design and abandons several familiar 
Mac interface conventions. 

The bottom line is that OS X provides 
important technical features but most 
cost-conscious independents will want to 
wait until they buy a new computer that 
comes with OS X installed. Those who 
use their Mac solely for editing with Final 
Cut Pro should consider upgrading if they 
are already upgrading to FCP 3, as the 
$125 price tag of OS X is well worth the 




The desktop in Mac OSX is a departure from the 
previous Mac interface. At the left side of the 
screen is the Docl<, which is a set of shortcuts 
for applications and documents. 



features it provides. DV import via 
Firewire works well, however, at press 
time no OS X compatible drivers were 
available for video digitizing boards. 
Pinnacle, Aurora, and Digital Voodoo 
have each promised OS X software that 
may even be available by the time you 
read this. 

— Greg" Gilpatrick 

For more info, see www.apple.com, 
www.pinnaclesys.com, 
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www.digitalvideo.com. 






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April 2002 THE INDEPENDENT 47 




The iFilm Internet Movie Guide 
Edited by Lew Harris 
iFilm Publishing, 2002 

BY MlCHA WaSCHKE 

For film friends, the great promise of 
the Internet was that it would be a trough 
for distribution and promotion of a new 
diet of works: lower in budget and higher 
in content. Pioneering freaks and geeks 




attempted to claim the new domain of 
low-resolution short filmmaking as their 
own. When the Web films ot these no- 
name indies and animation amateurs 
started gaining popularity, commercial 
interests rushed in and raised the bar. A 
maze of web sites ensued to channel the 
flood of trailers, flicks, cartoons, and soaps 
in the hope of grabbing a share of a poten- 
tially immense audience. Many of these 
sites cultivated a faithful following, and 
inspired a variety of cinematic adepts to 
produce for the new genre. IFilm, perhaps 
the best known among these sites, has 
now published the iFilm Internet Movie 



Guide. For Internet neophytes, this book 
may prove a useful and fairly comprehen- 
sive resource, directing people to most of 
the major web-based film sites, including 
indie Wire, a must see for film news and 
reviews. Ifilms' main intent is to presort 
the wide variety of cyber shorts and serve 
up the cream. Yet it contains little that 
isn't already available online, and the 
selection of film titles is far firom com- 
plete. Given the fluidity of the Internet, 
several addresses and links mentioned 
have already changed, and the reader is 
advised to make ample use of search 
engines when looking for a desired film. 
Moreover, the book is jovial in tone 
instead of brief and arid, as is customary 
for a resource book. It also lacks index 
features; however, it does provide an 
intelligent and comprehensive appendix 
of specific information for would be Web 
filmmakers and cineastes. 

Miclui Waschke, h(m\ J 969 in Berlin, is a musician 
and editor of the DVD-based art magazine, Sonic 
Unpublished. He lives aitd works in BrcMyn, N.Y 



Maya Deren and the 
American Avant-Garde 
Edited by Bill Nichols 
Univ. of California Press, 2001 

BY Brian Frye 

If you saw only one experimental film 
in college, the smart money says it was 
Maya Deren's and Alexander Hammid's 
Meshes of the Afternoon. And it's no win- 
der, as most critics consider it the film that 
jump-started American avant-garde cine- 
ma, with Deren the founder oi the move- 
ment. As a result, there's no shortage oi 
writing on Deren's lite and work: the yet 
untinished biography, The Legend of Maya 
Deren will eventually comprise three vol- 
umes. But Maya Dereri and the American 
Avant-Garde, a new collection oi essays 
edited by Bill Nichols, is rather more 
ambitious. Nichols asked se\'eral critics to 
examine Deren's significance not only as a 
filmmaker, but also as a writer and a 
thinker Despite the uneven results, the 
book itself is long overdue. 

The key to Amen'ctni Avant-Garde is 
Deren's own seminal essay "Ati Anagram 
of Ideas on Art, Form and Film," the entire 
text of which is included in a postscript. 
Deren wrote prolific ally on ethnography, 
philosophy, and film, but she is best repre- 



Maya Deren 

and ihe American flvant-Garde 




Edited by Bill Nichols 



sented by this woefully under\'alued mani- 
festo (written in 1946) for a new, poetic 
cinema, which ought to be required read- 
ing in ever>' introductory' film course. 
"Anagram" is distinguished by its peculiar 
"anagrammatic" layout. The nine chapters 
of the essay are mapped onto a 3x3 grid 
that ser\'es as a guide — something like a 
theoretical choose-your-own-adventure. 
For example, the three chapters in the top 
row of the grid respond to "The State of 
Nature and the Character of Man," while 
the three in the first column explain "The 
Nature of Forms." 

In his preface, Nichols equates the 
structure ot American Avant-Garde to that 
ot Deren's "Anagram." Unfortunately, 
Nichols includes 11 essays, creating an 
awfully ungainly grid. And it's as awkward 
in execution as appearance. "Anagram" is a 
rigorous, tightly concei\ed polemic, while 
American Avant-Garde is a respectable, but 
fairly standard issue collection of essays. 
Nichols's attempt to graft Deren's fomiat 
onto his utterly dissimilar book amounts to 
little more than a facile tri\-iali:ation. In 
lieu of Deren's inspired meta-essay, we get 
a pedantic and self-e\'ident table of con- 
tents. It's not an auspicious beginning. 

Academic writing on art is always a 
tricky business, as careless professors can 
all too easily come off as pompous 
phonies. When the artist in question is 
herself a brilliant essayist, the peril is even 
greater Luckily, the majority- of the essays 
Nichols selected are quite good. In gener- 



48 THE INDEPENDENT April 2002 



al, the more modestly conceived, fact- 
based essays are the most successful. 

Mark Franko's essay on Deren's relation- 
ship to modem dance and its expression in 
her films is especially valuable. In compar- 
ing Talley Beatty's role in Deren's A Study in 
Choreography for Camera to both Beatty's 
own Mourner's Bench and Martha 
Graham's Lamentation, he convincingly 
explains Deren's and Beatty's very different 
interpretations of Graham's ideas. 

Deren's undoing was her last film, 
Divine Horsemen, an uncompleted study 
of Haitian Voudoun. Moira Sullivan's 
essay on the reception (or lack thereof) of 
Divine Horsemen by ethnographic film- 
makers is excellent. Margaret Mead spoke 
for a great many ethnographers of her day 
when she insisted that ethnographic films 
ought to be as objective as possible. Deren 
had her own notion of what ethnographic 
film ought to — or could — look like; she 
saw ethnographic film as the perfect 
medium for her interest in choreography, 
ritual, and form. That she never managed 
to complete the film is a reflection of the 
enormous task she set for herself. 
Sullivan's account of the production of the 
film, and its long history of underapprecia- 
tion is both well-researched and uncom- 
monly lucid. With luck, it will prompt 
more frequent screenings of the film. 

Unfortunately, quite a few of the con- 
tributors resort to the obfuscatory prose 
common to academics who haven't got 
anything to say. Renata Jackson, Maureen 
Turim, and Marai Pramaggiore are egre- 



CONTENTS OF ANAGRAM 






A 


B 


c 




3 3 


3 ^ 


s - 




< o 


2 ** 


< j^ 




z u! 


u. 


UJ 


< THE STATE OF NATURE 
1 and 


X S 


s ° 


£ o 




1a 


1b 


Ic 




* THE CHARACTER OF MAN 










t\ THE MECHANICS OF NATURE 
/ and 


Pago 7 


Pags IS 


Page 30 




2a 


2b 


2c 


" THE METHODS OF MAN 










Q THE INSTRUMENT OF 


Page 1 1 


Page 21 


Page 37 




3a 


3b 


3c 


» DISCOVERY 










•^ .rd 


Page 14 


Page 26 


Page 44 




THE INSTRUMENT OF INVENTION 



















gious offenders on this front. Deren's films 
are little more than a pretext for these 
windy regurgitations of academic cant. 

But Lucy Fischer's comparison of 
Deren's films to those of Georges Melies 
was particularly ill conceived. The total 
lack of any but the most trivial similarities 
should give anyone familiar with the films 
discussed pause, and by the end of the 
essay one questions the extent to which 
even Ms. Fischer takes her thesis serious- 
ly. Scholars have indeed linked Deren's 
films to those of the Surrealists rather 
than early filmmakers like Melies. And for 
good reason. In many ways Deren's films 
do in fact look like those of the 
Surrealists, but they do not look like those 
of Melies. At all. My jaw dropped at her 
approving quotation of one Michael 
O'Pray to the effect that with the excep- 
tion of the Lumieres, "Maya Deren's A 
Study in Choreography in Camera was 
probably the simplest film. . .to be made at 
the time, 1945," a claim which is neither 
true, relevant, or even comprehensible. 

Happily, the entire book could rest on 
the two brilliant essays which bookend it. 
American Avant-Garde begins with what is 
easily the most important essay on Maya 
Deren's films and thought, Annette 
Michelson's newly revised "Poetics and 
Savage Thought: About Anagram." A 
profound dissection of Deren's 
"Anagram," Michelson's essay discusses 
Deren's radical rethinking of film form in 
relation to Sergei Eisenstein's theory of 
montage and Roman Jakobson's writings 
on aphasia. It's far too dense to properly 
address here, but well worth the effort. 

But of course, the shining jewel of the 
collection is Deren's "Anagram" itself Set 
off almost like an appendix, in its own 
period typeface, it seems to stand outside 
the book proper. This essay alone justifies 
purchasing the book. The crystalline, pel- 
lucid precision of Deren's prose is awe- 
inspiring. Her 52-page essay offers the 
most perfectly realized accounting of a film 
theory ever put to paper. She did what she 
could with it, and its repercussions are 
now history. 

Brian Frye is a filmmaker, curator, and writer 
currently living in New York City. 



The table of contents from Maya Deren's 1946 essay, 
"An Anagram of Ideas on Art, Form and Film" 



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April 2002 THE INDEPENDENT 49 




'^fevai 



BY Jason Guerrasio 



THEATRICAL: 

The Cat's Meow (Lions Gate, April 5) 
Dir. Peter Bogdanovich 
The Cat's Meow; examines one of 
Hollywood's legendary hushed-up mur- 
ders. In 1924 newspaper tycoon William 
Randolph Hearst invited a handful of tin- 
sel town's A-list players for a weekend of 
fun aboard his lavish yacht. The festivities 
took a rather nasty turn, however, and 
came crashing to an end with the murder 
of producer Thomas Ince (unresolved to 
this day). Bogdanovich became interested 
in the slaying after talking with Orson 
Welles about the event 
(Welles had written the 
murder into his first draft 
of Citizen Kane). Though 
the film has its moments, 
the dialogue between 
Kirsten Dunst, playing 
Hearst's mistress Marion 
Davies, and Eddie Izzard, 
as Charlie Chaplin, is 
clever, and the produc- 
tion design invokes the 
roaring twenties in 
earnest, it's safe to say 
that the plot is lost at sea. 



er now but still kids at heart. Dogtoum took 
both the audience and director awards at 
the 2001 Sundance Film Festival. (See 
profile, page 12.) 

Some Body (Lot 47, April 26) 
Dir. Henry Barrial 

Inspired from real life experiences of 
its star/co-writer/producer, Stephanie 
Bennett's Some Body is the story of a 
twentysomething schoolteacher who is at 
a crossroad. Tired of her long-standing 
boyfriend, Anthony (Jeramy Guillory), 




Stephanie Bennett in Henry Barnal's Some Body 



Dogtown and Z-Boys 

(Sony Pictures Classics, April 26) 
Dir. Stacy Peralta 

A must see for all surf-style skateboard 
fans who are curious about the sport's evo- 
lution, Dogtown chronicles the rise of the 
'70s cult legends who formed the Zephyr 
skateboard team, otherwise known as the 
Z-Boys. Using archival footage, this fast- 
paced doc dazzles the eye with images of 
amazing stunts and nail-biting spills as it 
reveals how a rowdy bunch of California 
beach kids from Santa Monica and Venice 
created today's skateboarding techniques. 
Bouncing off Sean Penn's mellow narra- 
tive is a sampling of legendary hard rock 
hits, including music from Led Zeppelin, 
Santana, Pink Floyd, and Ted Nugent, 
among others. Though the film has its dry 
spells, it makes up for it with funny testi- 
monials by the Z-Boys, who are a lot gray- 



Samantha (Bennett) decides to indulge in 
a bit of heavy drinking and promiscuous 
sex, leading her to some interesting 
encounters. Shot on DV, director Henr>' 
Barrial uses a mock documentary 
approach to tell the story. The challenge 
tor the viewer is to find where reality ends 
and the acting begins. To boost the factu- 
al quotient, Bennett cast some of her real 
life ex-boyfriends in the film. I guess the 
old saying is true: it's not what you know, 
it's who you know. 

The Chateau (IFC Films, May 1) 
Dir. Jesse Peretz 

This lighthearted comedy follows two 
brothers enjoying a holiday in France while 
staying at, you guessed it, a chateau they 
inherited from a departed relative. Along 
with the most obvious comedy of the clash 
of cultures, we get a kick out of watching 




Romany Malcoo 
in The Chateau 
directed by 
Jesse Peretz 



the one brother, 
Graham (Paul 
Rudd), a middle- 
aged slacker, bumbling around the chateau 
trying to put the moves on Isabella (Silvie 
Testud), the cute maid. The acting by the 
film's two protagonists (Rudd and newcom- 
er Romany Malco) fuels the film, but other- 
wise there isn't really much to praise. The 
supporting cast is as old and stale as a block 
of rotten cheese, and with the film being 
shot in natural light on a digital video cam- 
era the night scenes are impossible to watch. 

TELEVISION: 

Small Town Ecstasy (HBO, April 28) 
Dir. Arnold Shapiro 

The twisted life of a middle-aged father 
struggling with his inner demons takes 
center stage in Small Town Ecstasy, a doc- 
umentary' about the noxious effects of 
drug addiction. Recently divorced and 
floundering, Scott (the film uses first 
names only) begins hanging out at rave 
parties with his son Craig, scoring drugs 
and drinking himself into a stupor. After a 
litetime of being drug free and responsible, 
Scott's loss of control is shocking to his 
family and friends. Eventually, his down- 
ward spiral leads him to enlist his children 
as drug procurers for his habit. Although 
painful to watch at moments, Small Town 
Ecstusy offers a brutally honest portrait of 
substance abusers. 

A Day's Work, A Day's Pay (PBS, April) 
Dir. Kathy Leichter 

A Day's Work, A Day's Pay follows the trials 
of three welfare recipients who are partici- 
pating in New York's welfare-to-work pro- 
gram, the largest of its kind in the nation. 
The documentary' traces the trio's person- 
al and political evolution as they struggle 
with long hours, poor working conditions, 
and minimal pay. The brainchild of former 
New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, 
the welfare -to-work program was intend- 
ed to slash the welfare rolls with little 
regard given to the consequences that 
would ensue. The film wonderfully cap- 
tures the spirit of a group of people who 
refused to be bullied by the system. (See 
profile, March 2001. 



50 THE INDEPENDENT April 2002 



BY Bo Mehrad 

listings do not constitute an endorsement we 
recommend that you contact the festival 
directly before sending cassettes, as details 
may change after the magazine goes to press, 
deadline to place listing: 1st of the month 
two months prior to cover date (may 1 for 
july/august issue). include festival dates, cat- 
egories, prizes, entry fees, deadlines, formats 
& contact info. send to: festivals@aivforg 

Domestic 

black harvest international video and film 

FESTIVAL, Aug. 20-29, IL. Deadline: May 10, Gene Siskel 
FJInfi Center at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago 
presents the annual test, a noncompetitive showcase for 
contemporary cinema & video from the African diaspora. 
Fest will feature films from around the world, reflecting 
Black cultural, political & social experiences. Offerings 
from African nations, the U.S., Britain, Canada, Latin 
America and the Caribbean are expected. Recent African- 
American film and video provide the core of the fest. 
Directors will present feature-length and short work in all 
genres and an artists' panel will provide additional com- 
mentary and insight on the black experience in film. 
Founded: 1995. Cats: African/Diaspora, feature, doc, 
short, animation, experimental, music video, student, 
family, children, any style or genre. Formats: 16mm, 3/4", 
1/2", Beta SR 35mm, DigiBeta, DV, DVD. Preview on VHS. 
Entry Fee: No entry fee. Contact: Barbara Scharres, Film 
Center director. Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N. State 
Street, Chicago, IL 60601; (312) 846-2600; fax: 
(312)332-5859; jhyde@artic.edu; www.siskelfilmcenterorg 

BRAINWASH MOVIE FESTIVAL, July / August, CA. 
Deadline: May 1; May 10 (Final). Annual fest presents 
works from a nat'l selection of movie makers. Provides 
the opportunity to show "odd & obscure shorts, perfor- 
mance videos, works made for TV & out-of-genre 
efforts." Independent shorts & features from across the 
globe. Founded: 1995. Cats: TV, feature, doc, short, ani- 
mation, experimental, music video, any style or genre. 
Awards: incl. in "Best of" collection for possible broad- 
cast & small cash prizes. Formats: 16mm, VHS. Preview 
on VHS. Entry Fee: $20 (shorts, under 13 min.), $50 
(features, under 130 min.) Contact: Shelby Toland, Box 
23302, Oakland, CA 94623-0302;(415) 273-1545; 
shelby@brainwash.com; www.brainwash.com 

CHICAGO INT'L CHILDREN'S FILM FESTIVAL, October 
24-November 3, IL. Deadline: May 1. The CICFF is the 
largest competitive fest for films & videos for children in 
North America, & programs over 200 films & videos from 
43 countries targeted primarily for children ages 2-13. 
Entries must have copyright date of previous yr. or later. 
Fest presents films in contexts which encourage dialogue 
between filmmakers, children, parents & educators. Goal 
is the sustenance & nurture of positive images for chil- 
dren. Founded: 1984. Cats: Children, Adult Produced 
Feature, Short, TV, Animation, Child-produced work 
(ages 3-13), , youth media, family. Awards: Best of Fest 
Prize ($2,500), Montgomery Jury Prize - Adult Director 
($2,500), Montgomery Jury Prize - Child Director 
($2,500), Green Screen Prize ($1,000), Liv Ullmann 
Peace Prize & Rights of the Child Prize, in addition to 



prizes in many cats from both Adult & Children's Juries. 
Formats: 35mm, 16mm, Beta SR Preview on VHS (PAL or 
NTSC). Entry Fee: $35 Short (Less than 60 mins.) $75 
Feature (60 mins. or more); No fee for child-produced 
films (age 3-13). Contact: CICFF Facets Film & Video, 
1517 West Fullerton Avenue, Chicago, IL 60614; 
(773) 281-9075; fax: (773) 929-5437 or 929-0266; 
kidsfest@facets.org; www.cicff.org 

CINE-NITES, July 20, CA. Deadline: May 1. Cine-Nites is 
a free, annual digital film fest for feature-length movies 
held at Raleigh Studios. Five films are selected as pre- 
mieres to be screened for the filmmaker & his/her own 
audience. Also presents Digi-Nites. Founded: 1998. Cats: 
feature. Awards: Winners get promotion on Cine-Nites 
website. Formats: DV VHS (will not be returned). Entry 
Fee: Free to submit. Contact: Festival, 10521 West Pico 
Blvd, Los Angeles, CA, USA 90064; www.cine-nites.com 

DIGI-NITES, August 3, CA. Deadline: May 1. Diginites is 
a free, annual digital film fest for feature-length movies 
held at Raleigh Studios. Five films are selected as pre- 
mieres to be screened for the filmmaker & his/her own 
audience. Founded: 2001. Cats: feature. Awards: 
Winners get promotion on Digi-Nites website. Formats: 
DV VHS (will not be returned). Entry Fee: Free to submit. 
Contact: Festival, 10521 West Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, 
CA, USA 90064; www.digi-nites.com 

FLICKS ON 66 WILD WEST DIGITAL SHOOTOUT, July 
12-20, NM. Deadline: April 15. Flicks on 66 chooses 6 
10-page scripts to produce in Albuquerque, NM. 
Finalists participate in a one-week shoot/ edit/screen 
workshop. Their films compete for the Palm de Grease. 
Awards: Digital video camera & editing equipment. 
Preview on VHS. Entry Fee: $35. Contact: Jim Graebner, 
Festival Director, PO Box 4879, Albuquerque, NM 
87196; (505) 766-9414; fax: (505) 888-4057; 
flicksdigital66@aol.com; www.Flickson66.com 

JEWISH WOMEN'S FILM FESTIVAL, November, NY. 
Deadline: April 22. Fest seeks films that focus on the 
experiences of Jewish women wherever & whoever they 
may be. The fest "provides an opportunity for filmmak- 
ers who have never shown commercially in a metropoli- 
tan area." Gender of filmmaker is of no consequence & 
all cats will be considered, provided they are no longer 
than 60 min. Cats: short (no longer than 60 min.), any 
style or genre. Awards: Awards for Best Film in each cat- 
egory. Formats: 35mm, Beta SR 1/2". Preview on VHS. 
Entry Fee: $35. Contact: Annette Landau, NCJW New 
York Section, 820 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10021; 
(212) 687-5030 x.40; plsp@ncjw.org; www.ncjw,org 

LONG ISLAND FILM FESTIVAL, May 2-5 (add. screen- 
ings in June & July), NY Deadline: April 15 (films); June 
1 (screenplays). Annual competitive fest screens over 50 
features & shorts submitted from around the world. 
Cats: feature, short, doc, student, experimental. Awards: 
1st prizes presented in all cats (film & video), w/ cash 
awards TBA. Formats: 35mm, 16mm, 3/4", 1/2", DVD. 
Preview on VHS. Entry Fee: $25 (screenplays & films up 
to 15 min.); $40 (15 to 30 min.); $60 (30-60 min.); $75 
(over 60 min.). Contact: Chris Cooke, Box 13243, 
Hauppauge, NY 11788; (800) 762-4796; fax: (631) 853- 
4888; suffolkfilm@yahoo.com; www.lifilm.org 

LOS ANGELES LATINO INT'L FILM FESTIVAL, July 19-28, 
CA. Deadline: April 22. The fest is presented by produc- 



er/director/actor Edward James Olmos, LALIFF is dedicat- 
ed to presenting the diversity & quality of Latino films 
made in the US, Spain, S,America, Mexico & the 
Carribean. A competitive fest, LALIFF establishes a plat- 
form to accomplish many goals the most important of 
which is giving filmmakers an opportunity to present their 
films in Hollywood, meet potential distributors, network w/ 
studios & learn new technology. Founded: 1997, Cats: 
feature, doc, short, animation. Awards: Best Film; Best 
Screenplay; Best Director; Best Doc, Best Short; Audience 
Award. Formats: 35mm, 16mm, 3/4" (shorts & docs), 1/2" 
(shorts & docs), Beta (shorts & docs). Preview on VHS. 
Entry Fee: $20 (features); $10 (docs & shorts). Contact: 
Marlene Dermer, 6777 Hollywood Blvd. Suite #500, Los 
Angeles, CA 90028; (323) 469-9066; fax: (323) 469- 
9067; latinofilm@yahoo.com; www,latinofilm,org 

LUNAFEST, September-October, CA, Deadline: April 30. 
Fest seeks films by women, for women, or about women. 
Areas of interest can incl, culture, diversity of people, 
adventure, sports, the environment, spirituality, inspira- 
tion, challenges, relationships, & breaking barriers. 
Program will tour to ten college campuses during the fall. 
Proceeds from fest will benefit The Breast Cancer Fund 
to assist their efforts to promote awareness & education 
of womens' health. Films should be no longer than 75 
min. Cats: short, doc, feature, student, family. Awards: 
Cash prizes. Formats: Beta, S-VHS, 1/2", Preview on 
VHS, Entry Fee: $25 made payable to The Breast Cancer 
Fund, Contact: Allison Levy, c/o Clif Bar, 1610 5th St„ 
Berkeley, CA 94710; allison@aspiringheights,com; 
www,lunabar,com 

MAINE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL, July 12-21, 
ME, Deadline: March 15 (early); April 30 (final), A lead- 
ing New England regional film fest with an exceptional 
emphasis on international productions. Festival seeks 
features and shorts "shot in Maine or with a significant 
Maine focus." Recent fest guests and winners of MIFF's 
Mid-Life Achievement Award include Sissy Spacek and 
Terrence Malick, Founded: 1998. Cats: Feature, Short, 
doc. Awards: Audience Award (Best Feature), Formats: 
35mm, 3/4", Beta SR 16mm, S-VHS, 1/2", Beta, 
DigiBeta, DVD, Preview on VHS, Entry Fee: $30 (early); 
$40 (final). Entry form avail, on web site. Contact: MIFR 
10 Railroad Sq„ Waterville, ME 04901; (207) 861-8138; 
fax: 872-5502; info@miff,org; www,miff,org 

MALIBU INT'L FILM FESTIVAL, August 16-22, CA, 
Deadline: May 1, The Malibu Film Foundation, a 
California non-profit organization was founded to create, 
develop, & produce the Malibu Int'l Film Festival, The 
eight-day competitive fest is made possible through 
local support, corporate sponsorship & the blood, sweat, 
& tears of independent filmmakers. The fest screens 
over forty independent feature, short & doc films from 
around the world. Cats: feature, short, doc. Awards: 
Grand Prize (jury ballot); Directing Award (jury ballot); 
Audience Award (popular ballot); Cinematography Award 
(jury ballot); Screenwriter Award (jury ballot); Emerging 
Director Award (jury). Formats: 16mm, 35mm, Beta, 
Beta SR DigiBeta, Entry Fee: $50 (fee is waived w/ valid 
student ID), Contact: Skye Wilson, PO, Box 695, Venice, 
CA 90265; (310) 317-9111; fax: (310) 581-8366; 
info@malibufilmfest,org; www,malibufilmfest,org 

MARGARET MEAD FILM & VIDEO FESTIVAL, November 
2-10, 2001, NY Deadline: May 8, Premiere U,S, fest for 



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int'l cultural documentaries, w/ no restrictions on sub- 
ject, length, or yr, of production. 2001 wil be the 25th 
anniversary of the test & highlights will incl. a classics 
section & possibly a focus on generations. Film & video- 
makers whose works are selected receive a pass to all 
test events, limited financial assistance & housing After 
the November event, a number of titles are selected for 
a traveling test that tours nat'lly & int'lly. Founded: 
1977. Cats: Short, doc, animation, experimental, stu- 
dent, youth media. Awards: no awards, some financial 
assistance & honorarium. Formats: 35mm, 16mm, 3/4", 
1/2". Preview on VHS. Entry Fee: None. Contact: 
American Museum of Natural History, Dept. Education, 
Central Park West at 79th Street, New York, NY 10024; 
(212) 769-5305; fax: 769-5329; meadfest@amnh.org; 
www.amnh.org/mead 

MIDWEST MUSICAL MULTIMEDIA FESTIVAL. April 26, 
IW. Deadline: April 1. Hosted by the Electronic Division of 
the Communication Dept. at the University of Northern 
Iowa. The Video Fest is an "exploration in music, image, 
text & beyond..." The Fest curators aim to showcase 
work that explores intersections among music, images & 
beyond. Experimental, music video & animation are all 
of interest. Selected works will be uplinked onto the 
University website. Cats: short, animation, experimental, 
student, music video. Formats: 3/4", DVD, VHS, DV Cam. 
preview on VHS. Entry Fee: $8! Contact: Carol Vernallis; 
(319) 273-6985; vernallis@uni.edu 

NANTUCKET FILM FESTIVAL. June 20-23, MA. Deadline: 
April 13 (film); March 16 (screenplay competition). Fest 
focuses on screenwriters & their craft, presents feature 
films, short films, docs, staged readings. Q&A w/ film- 
makers, panel discussions & the Morning Coffee With... 
series. Writers are encouraged to present their films & 
works-in-progress & get feedback from other screen- 
writers & filmmakers. Entry must not have had commer- 
cial distribution or U.S. broadcast. Cats: any style or 
genre. Awards: Tony Cox Award for Screenwriting 
Competition, Best Writer/Director Award, Audience 
Awards for Best Feature & Short Film. Formats: 35mm. 
16mm, Video. Preview on VHS. Entry Fee: $40 (features); 
$25 (shorts, 35 mm. or less); $15 (5 mm or less). 
Contact: Jill Goode, Festival Director, 1633 Broadway. 
Ste. 14-334. New York, NY 10019: (212) 708-1278; ack- 
fest@aol.com; www.nantucketfilmfest.org 

NOMAD VIDEOFILM FESTIVAL. June tour, WA, OR. CA. 
Deadline: April 15. Berkeley-based fest has been a 
Pacific Coast touring venue for alternative media since 
1992, w/ stops in Port Townsend WA, Seattle, Portland, 
San Fran., Santa Monica & others. Fest seeks short 
video/films (15 min. max, any category) expressing 
audacity & strong visions. No theme this year; short docs 
& animation encouraged. Founded: 1991. Cats: short, 
doc, animation, experimental. Awards: No cash prizes, 
selected entries receive written audience responses. 
Works can originate in any video, film &/or media format. 
Formats: DV Preview on VHS. Entry Fee: $15 (no fee for 
int'l entries). Contact: Antero Alii c/o NVF Box 7518, Beri<eley 
CA 94707; (510) 464-4640; anteros@speakeasy.net; 
www.verticalpool.com/nomad.html 

NORTH CAROLINA GAY AND LESBIAN FILM FESTIVAL, 

August 9-12, NC. Deadline: May Competitive fest aims 
to open up audiences to wide spectrum of films by &/or 
about gay/lesbian/bisexual/ transgender lives. Fest also 



has produced series of events leading up to the fest incl. 
series on early gay films ("The Good, The Bad, and The 
Ugly"). No restriction on film's year of completion. Cats: 
feature, doc, short. Cats: Feature, Doc, Short, Any style 
or genre. Formats: 35mm, 16mm. Preview on VHS. Entry 
Fee: $15. Contact: Lawrence Ferber, Coordinator, 
573 6th St. #1, Brooklyn, NY 11215; (212) 414-7654; 
fax: (212) 233-9299; NCGLFF@aol.com; 
www.carolinatheatre.org 

PHILADELPHIA INT'L GAY & LESBIAN FILM FESTIVAL, 

July 11-22, PA. Deadline: May 1. Competitive fest screen- 
ing int'l features, documentaries, & shorts, w/cash prizes 
for both jury & audience awards. Cats: feature, short, doc, 
children. Awards: Audience Award, Best Feature ($1,000); 
Audience Award, Gay Male Short ($500); Audience Award. 
Lesbian Short ($500); Jury Award, Best Feature ($500); 
Jury Award, Doc ($500); Jury Award, Lesbian Short 
($250); Jury Award, Gay Male Short ($250). Preview on 
VHS. Entry Fee: No Entry Fee; Send media kit & screener 
Contact: Thorn Cardwell, Philadelphia Film Society. 
234 Market St., Fifth Floor. Philadelphia, PA 19106; 
215-733-0608 ext. 237; fax: (215) 733-0637: 
tcardwell@tlavideo.com; www.phillyfests.com 

RESFEST DIGITAL FILM FESTIVAL, Sept-Dec, CA, WA, 
IL, NY Deadline: May 3 (eariy); June 3 (final). Annual 
nat'l/int'l touring fest seeks short films/videos exploring 
the dynamic interplay of film, art, music & design. The 
Fest showcases the best of the year's shorts, features, 
music videos, & animation along w/ screenings, live 
music events, parties, panel discussions, & tech demos. 
The underlying guideline for submissions is Innovation. 
The previous years the fest toured 14 cities int'lly Cats: 
Doc, Experimental. Feature, Animation, music video, 
short. Awards: Audience Choice Award w/ cash prizes. 
Formats: DV Beta SP 35mm. DigiBeta (preferred). Mini 
DV (NTSC). Preview on VHS (NTSC/PAL), Beta SP 
(NTSC). Mini DV (NTSC). Entry Fee: $20 (early), $25 
(final). Contact: RESFEST 601 West 26th Street, 11th 
Floor, New York. NY 10001; resfest@resfest.com; 
www.resfest.com 

SAN ANTONIO UNDERGROUND FILM FESTIVAL. June 
14-15. TX. Deadline: May 1. Looking for features & 
shorts out of the mainstream. Include two sentence syn- 
opsis. Awards: Grand Prize: Lowrider Bicycle. Formats: 
VHS. Preview on VHS. Entry Fee: $20 (CASH ONLY!); 
Every entry receives a fest T-shirt. Contact: Adam Rocha, 
8039 Callaghan Rd. #611 PMB, San Antonio. TX 78230; 
(210) 977-9004: info@safilm.com: www.safilm.com 

STONY BROOK FILM FESTIVAL July 17-27, NY 
Deadline; April 15. Eleven days, fifty screenings of fea- 
tures & short films ranging from the best & most exciting 
foreign, art & popular films to worid & U.S. premieres of 
the best Independent Cinema from the U.S. & abroad. 
Cats: Feature, Short, Doc. Animation. Awards: Grand 
Prize. Jury Feature, Jury Short, Jury Directing & Audience 
Choice Awards. Formats: 35mm. 16mm. Preview on 
VHS. Entry Fee: $20 (shorts up to 30 min.); $40 (features 
over 30 min.). Contact: Patrick Kelly Stellar Arts Center, 
Stony Brook University, Rm 2032, Stony Brook, NY 
11794; (631) 632-7235; fax: (631) 632-7354: 
filmfest@stonybrookfilmfest.com; 
www.stonybrookfiimfest.com 

THE BRIDGE FILM FESTIVAL. May 11, NY Deadline: 
April 8. Featuring films by middle- & upper school stu- 



52 THE INDEPENDENT April 2002 



dents at Quaker schools worldwide. The goal of the test 
is to promote value-based filmmaking on topics that our 
children & communities grapple w/ regularly, such as 
integrity, non-violence, social conscience, & political jus- 
tice. The Fest is not looking for films about Quaker phi- 
losophy but rather films that depict Quaker ideals in 
action. From the participating schools, finalist films will 
be chosen & will be screened & awards are given based 
on both the quality of filmmaking & content. Entries may 
be up to 12 min. in length. Cats; doc. Nature, Comedy, 
Drama, Animation, music video, student, short. Preview 
on VHS (NTSC). Entry Fee: $25. Contact: Andy Cohen, 
375 Pearl Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201; (718) 852.1029; 




Laster, PO Box 624, Woods Hole, MA 02543; (617) 347- 
0316; woho3@aol.com; www.woodsholefilmfest.com 

YOUNG PEOPLE'S FILM AND VIDEO FESTIVAL, June, OR. 
Deadline: mid-May. Young People's Film and Video Festival 
is an annual juried survey of outstanding work by grade & 
high school students fram the Northwest (OR, WA, ID, MT 
UT AK). A jury reviews entries & assembles a program for 
public presentation. Judges' Certificates are awarded. About 
20 films & videos are selected each year Entries must have 
been made within previous 2 yrs. Founded: 1975. Cats: 
Student, any style or genre. Awards: Judges Certificates 
awarded. Formats: 16mm, S-8, 3/4", 1/2", Hi8, CD-ROM, 
S-VHS, super 8. Preview on VHS. Entry Fee: No entry fee. 



BELLA LUNA 

Ever wonder what happens to your fes- 
tival entry fees? With LunaFest there is 
no guesswork. One of the few festivals 
of its kind, LunaFest has generated 
over $7,500 to date for The Breast 
Cancer Fund — a nonprofit that works to uncover and eliminate the pre- 
ventable causes of breast cancer. All submission fees are directly paid to TBCF 
(entry checks are made out to The Breast Cancer Fund — no middlemen!). 
Celebrating its second year, the fest also provides a unique forum for films by, 
for, and about women, all while raising awareness of the fight to eradicate 
breast cancer. Last year's audiences were treated to an eccentric platter of 
films from across the globe, including This is For Betsy Hall (pictured) along 
with speakers who shared their experience of living with or surviving breast 
cancer See listing. 



fax: (718) 643.4868; acohen@brooklynfriends.org; 
www.brooklynfriends.org/bridgefilm/index.html 

WINE COUNTRY FILM FESTIVAL, July 18-Aug. 11, CA. 
Deadline: May 1. Annual fest held in Napa & Sonoma 
Valleys, 45 miles north of San Francisco. A competitive & 
non-competitive int'l showcase of 100 -i- feature films, 
shorts, docs & animation. On average the fest showcas- 
es 102 films from 32 countries, w/ seminars & gala 
screens outdoors under the stars in a vineyard setting 
Founded: 1987. Cats: Feature, Doc, Short, Animation. 
Awards: Best First Feature, David L. Wolper Best Doc 
Prize, Best Short & Audience Choice Awards . Formats: 
35mm, 16mm, DV Preview on VHS. Entry Fee: $35. 
Contact: Festival, Box 303, Glen Ellen, CA 95442; (707) 
996-2536; fax: (707) 996-6964; wcfilmfest@aol.com; 
www.winecountryfilmfest.com 

WOODS HOLE FILM FESTIVAL, July 27-Aug. 3, MA. 
Deadline: May 1. A showcase for independent film w/ 
special emphasis on regional filmmakers & cinematogra- 
phy. Founded: 1991. Cats: feature, doc, short, animation, 
experimental, script. Awards: Best feature, short, doc, 
film, cinematography. Formats: Beta, 16mm, 35mm, 
Beta SR DVD. Preview on VHS. Entry Fee: $25 (under 40 
min.); $45 (feature); $25 screenplay. Contact: Judy 



Contact: Kristin Konsterlie, Festival Coordinator, Northwest 
Film Center, 1219 SW Park Ave., Portland, OR 97205; 
(503) 221-1156; fax: 294-0874; kristin@nwfilm.org; 
www.nwfilm.org 

Foreign 

antimatter: festival of underground short 

FILM & VIDEO, Sept. 20-28, Canada. Deadline: May 3 
(early); June 7 (late). Annual fest, produced by Rogue Art, 
seeks imaginative, volatile, entertaining & critical works 
which exist outside mainstream, regardless of subversive 
or dangerous nature of their content, stylistic concerns, or 
commercial viability. Fest is anti-Hollywood & anti-censor- 
ship & dedicated to film & video as art. Selected works will 
be included in a three-city int'l tour Industrial, commercial 
& studio products ineligible. Films must be under 30 min. 
& produced w/in last two years. Founded: 1998. Cats: any 
style or genre, short. Formats: 1/2", 16mm, DVD. Preview 
on VHS. Entry Fee: $10 (early); $15 (late). Contact: Todd 
Eacrett, Director, Studio F 1322, Broad St., Victoria, B.C., 
Canada V8W-2A9; (250) 385-3327; fax: (250) 385-3327; 
rogueart@island.com; www.antimatterws 

BRISBANE INT'L FILM FESTIVAL, July 4-14, Australia. 
Deadline: April 8. Festival will showcase more than 200 



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films, docs, shorts, & animations at venues across 
Brisbane. Also adding to this year's test fever will be the 
much-anticipated announcement of the Chauvel Award 
winner Past winners of this prestigious award incl. Fred 
Schepisi, Paul Cox, Gillian Armstrong, John Scale, Dr 
George Miller & Rolf de Heer Cats: Feature, Doc, Short, 
Animation, Experimental. Preview on VHS. Contact: Third 
Floor Hoyts Regent, 167 Queen St. Mall, Brisbane, 
QLD 4000, Austrailia; Oil 61 7 3007-3003; fax: 
Oil 61 7 3007-3030; biff@biff.com.3U; www.biff.com.au 

EDINBURGH INT'L FILM FESTIVAL, August 14-25, 
Scotland. Deadline: April 19. Fest of discovery, celebra- 
tion of cinema, centre of debate, & catalyst for new 
directors & first films. Began in 1947 as a doc film fest 
& is particularly interested in non-fiction; also pre- 
mieres. Showcases about 110 new features & 120 new 
shorts each yr; shows live action & animated shorts 
before every film in every section. In 1995 initiated New 
British Expo, a market & talent spotting showcase for 
British film. All films screened to public audiences 
except NBX; also screenings for press, delegates & 
attending guests. Founded: 1947. Cats: Feature, Short, 
Animation, Experimental, doc. Awards: Awards go to 
Best New British Feature, Best British Animation plus 
Standard Life Audience Award, Channel Four Director's 
Award, Observer Doc Award & Pathe Performance Award. 
Audience vote for Best Gala Film & Best Animation.. 
Formats: 70mm, 35mm, 16mm, Beta SP Preview on 
VHS. Entry Fee: £10-£80. Contact: Lizze Francke, 
Director, Filmhouse, 88 Lothian Road, Edinburgh, EH3 
9BZ, Scotland, UK; Oil 44 31 221 8709; fax: 
Oil 44 31 229 5501; submissions@edfilmfest.org.uk 
or info@edfilmfest.org.uk; www.edfilmfest.org.uk 

FANTASY FILMFEST, July 24-August 21, Germany. 
Deadline: May 31. Annual fest is held in six German 
cities (Frankfurt, Cologne. Munich, Berlin, Stuttgart, 
Hamburg) celebrating the following genres: science fic- 
tion, horror thriller & killer, animation, fantasy & action 
adventure. Film must be German premieres Founded: 
1987. Cats: feature, short, animation. Awards: none.. 
Formats: 35mm. Preview on VHS/DVD. Entry Fee: 
No entry fee; $25 (for retum of tape). Contact: Schorsch 
Muller, Rosebud Entertainment, Veranstaltungs -1- 
Medien GMBH, Fregestr 36, Berlin. Germany 12161: 
Oil 49 30 861 45 32; fax: 49 30 861 45 39; 
rosebud_entertainment@t-online.de; 
www.fantasyfilmfestcom 

HIROSHIMA INT'L ANIMATION FESTIVAL, August 22- 
26, Japan. Deadline: April 10. Biennale test's philosophy 
is that animation brings together every & all kinds of art 
forms & cultures & as a result animation can express 
more humane feelings, such as kindness, love. & peace. 
Founded: 1985. Cats: animation, short. Awards: Grand 
Prize, Hiroshima Prize, Debut Prize, Renzo Kinoshita 
Prize, Special Int'l Jury Prizes, prizes for Outstanding 
Works. Formats: 35mm, 16mm, 3/4" (Low band). Beta 
Cam (NTSC). Preview on VHS. Entry Fee: no entry fee. 
Contact: Sayoko Kinoshita, Fest. Dir, 4-17 Kako-machi. 
Naka-ku, Hiroshima, Japan 730-0812; Oil 81 82 245 
0245; fax: 81 82 245 0246; hiroanim@urban.ne.jp; 
www.urban.ne.jp/home/hiroanim/ 

INT'L FILM FESTIVAL CINEMA JOVE, June 15-22, Spain. 
Deadline: April 15. Cinema Jove has two cats: Official 
Int'l Category for Videocreation, Electronic Graphics & 



Computer Graphics (open to any young videomaker born 
after January 1st 1965), & Official Natl Category for 
Short Fictions produced on video (open to those born or 
resident in the Spanish State, bom after Jan. 1st 1969). 
(Int'l Short Film Market takes place in the framework of 
the Cinema Jove fest.) Founded: 1985. Cats: short, fea- 
ture, any style or genre. Awards: Luna de Valencia; Gold 
(18.000 Euros): best feature; Gold (6.000 Euros): best 
short; Silver (3.000 Euros): 2nd short; Bronze (1.800 
Euros): 3rd short: Int'l CANAL-^ award to the best short 
film (rights purchasing for Europe); Special MADRID 
FILM nat'l award to the best short film (work services 
valued: 1.500 Euros); Special INJUVE award to more cre- 
ative short film (3.000 Euros); Special TRIVISION award 
to the best Valencian short film Director (work services 
valued: 1.800 Euros). Formats: 35mm, 16mm. Preview 
on VHS. Entry Fee: No Entry fees. Contact: Rafael 
Maluenda, Festival Director, Calle Jeronimo de 
Monsoriu,19 , Valencia, Spain 46022 ; Oil 34 96 331 10 47; 
fax: Oil 34 96 331 08 05; cinemajove@ivaj.gva.es; 
www.gva.es/cinemajove/ 

INT'L FILM FESTIVAL FOR CHILDREN & YOUNG 
PEOPLE. July 8-19. Uruguay. Deadline: May 3. Annual 
fest presents overview of new films for children & ado- 
lescents, facilitates access to best & most diverse mate- 
rial created today & encourages distribution of new films 
for children. Entries cannot have been shown in Uruguay 
& must include: complete tech info, five-line synopsis of 
work, dialogue script in English & VHS copy of film. Cats: 
children, animation, feature, short, family. TV. Awards: 
Prizes for fiction, animation, doc: UNESCO prize to direc- 
tor of best Latin American or Caribbean film or video; 
Gun prize for best of test; UNICEF prize to best film/video 
promoting children's rights; OCIC prize to best film/video 
enhancing human values, & Children's Jury award. 
Formats: 35mm, 16mm, 3/4", 1/2", Beta SP Entry Fee: No 
entry fee. Contact: Richard Casas. Cinemateca Uruguaya, 
Lorenzo Carnelli 1311, Montevideo. Uruguay 11200; fax: 
Oil 598 409 4572; cinemuy@chasque.apc.org; 
www.cinemateca.org.uy 

JERUSALEM FILM FESTIVAL, July 18-27, Israel. 
Deadline: April 18. Annual fest will screen over 175 films 
in various cats. incl. int'l cinema, doc. shorts, animation, 
avant garde. US indie, Israeli & Mediterranean cinema; 
Jewish themes, restorations & classics. Must be Israeli 
premieres. Founded: 1984. Cats: Feature. Short. Retro, 
Jewish, Doc, Experimental. Awards: Wolgin Awards for 
Israeli cinema. Upper Award for best Israeli script, Wim 
van Leer Award (int'l competition). Mediterranean 
Cinema Award. Films on Jewish Theme Award (int'l 
comp.). Formats: 35mm, 16mm, 3/4", 1/2". Preview on 
VHS. Entry Fee: No entry fee. Contact: Lia van Leer, 
Director, Box 8561, Derech Hebron, Jerusalem, Israel 
91083; Oil 9722 672 4131; fax: Oil 9722 673 3076; 
jer_cine@inter.net.il; www.jercine.org.il 

MESSAGE TO MAN" INT'L DOC, SHORT & ANIMATED 
FILM FESTIVAL, June 15-22, Russia. Deadline: April 15. 
The largest int'l film fest in Russia in the field of docu- 
mentaries, short fiction & animation. Fest is a unique 
opportunity for communication between filmmakers from 
different countries who develop themes of justice, good- 
will, "message to people", realizing them by the means 
of cinema. Fest accepts feature doc (up to 120 min.), 
short doc (up to 40 min.), short fiction (up to 60 min.). 



54 THE INDEPENDENT April 2002 



animated films (up to 40 min.). Cats: Doc, Short, 
Animation, any style or genre. Awards: "Centaur" prizes 
& cash awards. Formats: 35mm, 16mm. Preview on 
VHS. Contact: Mikhail Litviakov, 12 Karavannaya, St. 
Petersburg, Russia 191011; Oil 7 812 235 2660, or 
230-22-00; fax: Oil 7 812 235 3995; 
centaur@spb.cityline.ru; www.cl.spb.ru/centaur/ 

MILANO & BOLOGNA INT'L GAY & LESBIAN FILM 
FESTIVAL , May 29-June 8, Italy. Deadline: April 20. The 
largest event of public screenings of lesbian & gay films in 
Milano & Bologna. Founded: 1985. Cats: feature, doc, short, 
experimental. Fomiats: 35mm, 16mm, Beta (PAL only), U- 
matic (NTSC/ PAL), 1/2"(NTSC/ PAL). Preview on VHS (NTSC, 
PAL or SECAM). Entry Fee: none. Contact: Giampaolo Marzi, 
C/0 MBE 208, Via Del Torchino 12, Milano, Italy 20123; Oil 
39 023 319 118; fax: 39 0272 002 942; marzig@energy.it; 
www.cinemagaylesbico.com 

NEW ZEALAND FILM FESTIVALS, July 12-28 (Auckland); 
July 19-August 4 (Wellington); July 26-August 11 
(Dunedin); August 1-18 (ChristChurch), New Zealand. 
Deadline: April 15. July is Film Festival time: festivals are 
presented every winter by the New Zealand Film Festival. 
Made up of a core programme of approx. 120 features & as 
many shorts, the organizers present major Festivals in 
Wellington & Auckland & "selected highlights" programmes 
in the South Island cities of Christchurch & Dunedin. A fur- 
ther reduced programme travels to six provincial cities. 
Formats: 35mm, 16mm, Beta. Preview on VHS. Contact: 
Festival, PO Box 9544, Marion Square, Wellington, New 
Zealand 6001; 01 64 4 385 0162; fax: 64 4 801 7304; 
entries@enzedff.co.nz; www.enzedff.co.nz 

VANCOUVER QUEER FILM & VIDEO FESTIVAL, August 8- 
18, Canada. Deadline: April 18th. Annual event screens 
both int'l & local Canadian films & videos of interest to 
the lesbian, gay, bisexual, & transgendered communities. 
Festival screens work of all lengths & genres & incls. 
panels, workshops, & receptions providing a forum for the 
development of dialogue between LGBT people of all eth- 
nicities, cultures, ages, abilities, & gender definitions. 
Fees paid for independent work screened. Founded: 
1989. Cats: any style or genre. Awards: Gerry Brunei 
Memorial Award ($400) to the most inspirational B.C. 
short work of any genre or format (under 35 min.) made 
after January 1, 2000.. Formats: 35mm, 16mm, super 8, 
1/2", Beta SR DV Preview on VHS, NTSC only. Entry Fee: 
None. Contact: Michael Barrett, Director of Programming, 
207 West Hastings Street, Ste 405, Vancouver, B.C., 
Canada V6B 1H7; (604) 844-1615; fax: 844-1698; 
programming@outonscreen.com; www.outonscreen.com 

VILA DO CONDE INT'L SHORT FILM FESTIVAL, July 2-7, 
Portugal. Deadline: April 19. Annual test accepting films 
under 60 min. produced in the previous 2 years. If film has 
dialogue in languages other than English, French, Spanish 
or Portugese & it is not subtitled in any of these languages, 
incl. translated script. Extracts of accepted films may be 
broadcast on TV channels for test publicity. Founded: 
1993. Cats: Short, doc, Animation, any style or genre. 
Awards: Grand Prize in each category of a trophy, diploma 
& PTE 3,000; Prize of the Audience, trophy & PTE 2,000. 
Formats: 16mm, 35mm. Preview on VHS. Entry Fee: no 
entry fees. Contact: Mario Micaelo, Auditorio Municipal, 
Praca da Republica, 4480-715 Vila do Conde, Portugal; 
Oil 351 252 646 516; fax: 351 252 248 416; fest@cur- 
tasmetragens.pt; www.curtasmetragns.pt 



2U2 Call tor Entries 




FILTSA FE:STI\/A.L 

IftUmiinili/Viiito ftstifil 

Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center 
May 2nd-5th, 2002 

Call or Write for Entry Forms (Due 4/1/02) 

Christopher Cooke, Director 

Long Island Film Festival 

c/o P.O. Box 13243 

Hauppauge, NY 11788 

1-800-762-4769 . (631) 853-4800 

From 10:00am-6pm, Mon-Fri 

or visit our website at www.lifilm.org 



Long Island 
International 
Film Expo 2002 

Seeks Submissions for July 12-18 Film Festival 




Short and Feature Length Films, all genres considered. 
If accepted, ability to screen in Beta SP, 16mm, 

35mm and VHS Video, 
i Cut off date May 13. a 

GALA AWARDS CEREMONY August 22 

For application, please email debfilm@aol.com, 

call 516-571-3168 

or visit our websites: www.LonglslandFilm.com and 

www.Co.Nassau.NY.US/fllm/form2002.html 

The Long Island International Film Expo is under the auspices of 

the Long Island Film/TV Foundation and 

the Nassau County Film Commission 



April 2002 THE INDEPENDENT 55 



(i 



JSJ'J.-"^^. 



^ 



notices of relevance to aivf members are list- 
ed free of charge as space permits. the 
independent reserves the right to edit for 
length and makes no guarantees about repeti- 
tions of a given notice. limit submissions to 60 
words & indicate how long info will be cur- 
rent deadline: 1st of the month, two months 
prior to cover date (e.g., may 1 for july/aug. 
issue). complete contact info (name, address 
& phone) must accompany all notices. send to: 
notices@aivforg. we try to be as current as 
possible, but double-check before submitting 
tapes or applications. 

Competitions 

film in arizona screenwriting competition: 

Sixth year. To promote screenplays to film exec, that take 
place in Arizona. Nat'l competition for original feature- 
length screenplays (90 min., 120 max. pgs). Industry 
standard format req'd. Awards: $1,000 Cox 
Communications Award, guaranteed industry meetings, 
hotel accomodations, rental car, pro script notes; all 
finalists flown to LA for awards breakfast and will 
receive Scriptware software along with free exposure on 
Writers Script Network. Entry fees & deadlines: $30 (by 
April 13, 2002), $40 (by May 15). Wendy Carroll, "Film 
In Arizona" Screenwriting Competition, 3800 N. Central 
Ave., BIdg. D, Phoenix, AZ 85012; (602) 280-1380; 
hotline: 280-1384; wendy@azcommerce.com; 
www.azmmerce.com/azfilmcommission.htm 

HOLLYWOOD SCRIPTWRITING CONTEST: To provide 
new valuable outlets for recognizing & promoting quality 
scripts of undiscovered writers worldwide. Registered 
feature films in English; motion picture standard master 
scene format required. Must be unoptioned, btwn 90 & 
130 pages. Rules & Requirement in full detail posted on 
contest website. Awards: Winning script loglines sent to 
agents & producers. Winning synopsis published on the 
Internet & marketed to production companies by Writers 
Script Network for 6 months. 1 year subscription to 
Scr(i)pt magazine. Winner's diploma posted on HSI web- 
site for 1 month. Entry Fee: $50. Deadline: monthly 
(postmarked by 15th of each month). Contact: 1605 
Cahuenga Blvd., Ste. 213, Hollywood, CA 90028; (800)- 
SCRIPTS; hwdscreen@aol.com; www.moviewriting.com 

NCFR MEDIA AWARDS, November 19-24 (NCFR 
Conference), Ml. Deadline: May 1. Nat'l Council on Media 
Relations sponsors an annual competition to recognize out- 
standing videos & CD-Roms on marriage & family. Their 
mission is to "evaluate quality & conceptual content, 
encourage excellence in praduction of themes relevant to 
family issues, promote the effective use of these resources 
& high standards in the development of creative leaming 
opportunities, & disseminate media competition results to 
interested professionals." Cats: Abuse, Aging, 
Contemporary Social Issues, Families w/ Special Needs, 
Family Violence/Abuse, Human Development Across the 
Life Span, Marital & Family Issues & Communications, 
Mental Health, Stress, Transition, & Crisis Management, 
Diverse Family Systems, Parenting Issues, Sexuality & Sex 
Role Development, Teenage Pregnancy & Sexuality, 
STD/AIDS, Other (eg. PSAs). Contact: Lynda Bessey, 3989 
Central Ave. NE, #550, Minneapolis, MN 55421; (763)- 
781-9331; fax:781-9348; TOLL FREE (888)781-9331; 
fvilla@pilot.msu.edu; ncfr3989@ncfr.com.; www.ncfr.org 



SCRIPTAPALOOZA 4th ANNUAL SCREENWRITING COM- 
PETITION: First prize is $10,000 and screenwriting soft- 
ware for the 3 winners and 10 runner-ups. All thirteen 
winners will be considered by Scriptapalooza's outstand- 
ing participants; AMG, Samuel Goldwyn Films, Film 
Colony, Evolution, Phoenix Pictures and many more. 
Sponsors include Screenplay Systems and The Writer's 
Store. All entries must be postmarked no later than April 
15, 2002. For further information or an application please 
visit www.scriptapalooza.com or call (323) 654-5809. 

TEXAS FILM INSTITUTE SCREENPLAY COMPETITION: 

To promote, develop & seek production of new talented 
screenwriters within the studio and independent film 
market. Our sponsors expect to read solid dramatic 
scripts from our winners that reflect our high standards 
of writing for which we are known in the industry. 
Awards: Cash, possible option, entrants placing in semi- 



It's a Brand New Day 



In this day and age when mega-media 
mergers and conglomerates are king, it's good .. 
to know some people are still interested in 
independent projects. For the past 29 years, 
New Day Films has offered independently produced, award-winiiing films that 
both educate and inspire. Created in the 1970s to promote works that other 
distributors thought to controversial, New Day presently has 50 filmmakers in 
their stable who pride themselves on creating films that range from local social 
issues to global concerns. New Day Films is always looking for video and film- 
makers that have social issue documentaries. See listing. 



Conferences • Workshops 
institute of videography's annual convention 

& TRADE EXHIBITION: April 24th & 25th 2002. Event 
showcases the latest technology & services in DV pro- 
duction. Event includes full schedule of seminars & 
workshops aimed at addressing the needs of today's 
video production community, including discussions on all 
key business topics. lOV welcomes non-members & 
offers free convention pre-registration service and con- 
vention info via web site. Contact: -h44 (0) 20 8502 
3817; www.iov.co.uk 

Films • Tapes Wanted 

CINEMARENO: A year-round festival of films. Monthly 
screenings showcase new independent films & videos. 
Focusing on new, undistributed works. Formats: 16mm, 
35mm, Beta-SP DV. Preview on VHS. Entry fee: $20. 




finals and up receive free evaluation of script, admission 
to the Santa Fe Screenwriters Conference. Entry fee; 
$40. Deadline: April 15. Contact: Lisa Matter, Creative 
Assistant TFI 2002, The Ranch of Dos Cerros, 409 
Mountain Spring, Boerne, Tx 78006; (830)-537-5906; 
537-5906; b(flix@aol.com; www.texasfilminstitute.com 

THE ANNUAL IDA AWARDS COMPETITION: Sponsored 
by Eastman Kodak, the IDA Awards recognize & honor 
distinguished achievement in nonfiction film & video. 
Winners honored at the Awards Gala on Dec. 13, 2002. 
The IDA screens the winning films at DocuFest on Dec. 
14, 2002. Early Bird Deadline with discount May 17. Final 
Deadline lune 30. Entry forms available at www.docu- 
mentary.org beginning March 15 or contact IDA at 
213-534-3600 x7446 or idaawards@documentary.org 

CHICAGO COMMUNITY CINEMA: Offers the excitement 
of an annual film festival with a monthly extravaganza of 
a networking test and movie showcase. On the first 
Tuesday of each month short films, trailers, music 
videos, commercials, student films, and features, of all 
genres are showcased to an audience of industry profes- 
sionals. Evenings begin with a cocktail hour to show- 
case local organizations and allow for a strong social 
networking atmosphere before the screenings. 
Submission form available at website. Entry Fee: $25. 
Deadline: Ongoing. Contact: Chicago Community 
Cinema, 401 W. Ontario, Suite 208, Chicago, IL 60610; 
(312) 863-3451; www.ChicagoCommunityCinema.com 



Contact: Cinemareno, RO. Box 5372, Reno NV 89513, e- 
mail: cinemareno@excite.com. Entry form and guide- 
lines at www.cinemareno.org 

DUTV: A progressive, nonprofit access channel in 
Philadelphia, seeks works by indie producers. All genres 
& lengths considered. Will return tapes. Beta SP DV, S- 
VHS & 3/4" accepted for possible cablecast & webcast, 
VHS for preview Contact: Debbie Rudman, DUTV, 3141 
Chestnut St,. Bldg9B, Rm 4026, Philadelphia, PA 19104: 
(215) 895-2927; dutv@drexel.edu; www.dutv.org 

MAKOR: Continues its on-going Reel Jews Film Series 
that showcases the work of emerging Jewish filmmakers. 
Now accepting shorts, features, docs and/or works-in- 
progress, regardless of theme, for screening considera- 
tion and network building. For more info, call Ken 
Sherman at (212) 601-1021 or kensherman@makor,org. 

PARK4DTV: Is an Amsterdam-based organization spe- 
cializing in broadcast of a 60 min, TV art piece every 
night. Works vary from computer-generated abstract 
work to ultra hard-core reality TV, Founded in 1991, 
PARK4DTV has broadcast more than 1100 different 1 hr, 
tapes made by artist around the world & is looking for 
tapes that fit into the program. Artists will be paid for 
broadcasted work. Organization also has programs in 
Rotterdam, New York & Berlin, Contact: PARK4DTV, Box 
11344, 1001 GH Amsterdam, Nethertands: 
info@park.nl; www.park.nl 



56 THE INDEPENDENT April 2002 




THE ASSOOATION OF INDEPENDENT 
VIDEO AND FILMMAKERS 



To sueeiEB AS an indefentont 
you need a wealth of resources, 
strong connections, and the best 
information available. Whether 
through our service and education 
programs, the pages of our magazine, 
our web resource, or through the 
organization raising its collective 
voice to advocate for important issues, 
AIVF preserves your independence 
while reminding you you're not alone. 

About AIVF and FIVF 

Offering support for individuals ond 
advocacy for the media arts field. 
The Association of Independent 
Video and Filmmakers (AIVF) is a 
national membership organization 
that partners with the Foundotion for 
Independent Video and Film (FIVF), a 
501(c)(3) nonprofit that offers a 

I broad slate of education and 

I information programs. 

I Information Resources 

AIVF workshops and events cover the 
whole spectrum of issues affecting 
the field. Practical guides on festivals, 
i distribution, exhibition and outreach 
I help you get your film to audiences 
(see other part of insert). 

The Independent 

I Membership provides you with a 
year's subscription to The Independent, 
a monthly magazine filled with 
thought-provoking features, profiles, 

' news, and regular columns on 
business, technical, and legal matters. 

■ Plus the field's best source of festival 
listings, funding deadlines, exhibition 
venues, and announcements of 

I member activities and services. 



AIVF Online 

Stay connected through www.aivf.org, 
featuring resource listings and links, 
web-original articles, media advocacy 
information, discussion areas, and 
the lowdown on AIVF services. 
Members-only features include 
interactive notices and festival 
listings, distributor and funder 
profiles, and archives of The 
Independent. SPLICE! is a monthly 
electronic newsletter that features 
late breaking news and highlights 
special programs and opportunities. 

Insurance & Discounts 

Members are eligible for discounted 
rates on health and production 
insurance offered by providers who 
design plons tailored to the needs of 
low-budget mediamakers. Businesses 
across the country offer discounts on 
equipment and auto rentols, stock 
and expendibles, film processing, 
transfers, editing, shipping, and other 
production necessities. Members also 
receive discounts on classified ads in 
The Independent. 

Community 

AIVF supports over 20 member- 
organized, member-run regional 
salons across the country, to strengthen 
local media arts communities. 

Advocacy 

AIVF has been consistently outspoken 
about preserving the resources and 
rights of independent mediamakers. 
Members receive information on 
current issues and public policy, and 
the opportunity to add their voice to 
collective actions. 



MEMBERSHIP BENEFITS 

INDIVIDUAL/STUDENT 

Includes: one year's subscription to 

The Independent • access to group 

insurance plans • discounts on 

goods & services from national 

Trade Partners • online & over-the- 

phone information services • 
discounted admission to seminars, 

screenings, & events • book 

discounts • classifieds discounts • 

advocacy action alerts • eligibility 

to vote 6c run for board of directors 

• members-only web services. 

DUAL MEMBERSHIP 

All of the above benefits extended 

to two members of the same 

household, except the year's 

subscription to The Independent 

which is shared by both. 

BUSINESS & INDUSTRY, 

SCHOOL, OR NON-PROFIT 

MEMBERSHIP 

All above benefits for up to three 

contacts, plus • discounts on display 

advertising • special mention in 

each issue of The Independent. 

FRIEND OF FIVF 

Individual membership plus $45 
tax-deductible donation. Special 
recognition in The Independent. 

JOINT MEMBERSHIPS 

Special AIVF memberships are also 
available through AIVF Regional 

Salons as well as many local media 

arts organizations — for details 

call (212) 807-1400x236. 

LIBRARY SUBSCRIPTION 

Year's subscription to The 

Independent for multiple readers, 

mailed first class. Contact your 

subscription service to order or call 

AIVF at (21 2) 807-1400x501. 



mm' 




With all that AIVF has to offer, can you afford not to be a member? Join today! 

Mail to AIVF, 304 Hudson St., 6th fl. New York, NY 10013; or charge by phone (212) 807-1400 x 503, by fax (212) 463-8519, 
or via www.aivf.org. Your first issue of The Independent will arrive in 4-6 weeks. 

For Library subscriptions: please contact your subscription service, or call AIVF at (212) 807-1400 x501. 



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PUBLIC BROADCASTING SERVICE: Accepts proposals 
from programs and completed programs by independent 
producers aimed at public television audiences. Consult 
PBS Web page from content priorities and submission 
guidelines before submitting. Contact Cheryl Jones, Senior 
Director, Program Development & Independent Film, PBS 
Headquarters, 1320 Braddock Place, Alexandria, VA 
22314; (703) 739-5150; fax (703) 739-5295. Email: 
cjones@pbs.org. Web: www.pbs.org/producers/. 

SHIFTING SANDS CINEMA: Is a quarterly screening 
series presenting experimental video, film, animation & 
digital media. Short works (under 20 min.) on VHS 
(NTSC) are sought. Incl. synopsis of work, artist's bio & 
contract info. Deadline ongoing. Tapes are unable to be 
retumed. Submissions will become part of the Shifting 
Sands Archives & will also be considered for curated 
exhibitions and other special projects. Contact: Shifting 
Sands Cinema, c/o Jon Shumway, Art Dept., Slippery 
Rock Univ., Slippery Rock, PA 16057; (724) 738-2714; 
jon.shumway@sru.edu. 

SUB ROSA STUDIOS: Is looking for a variety of different 
video and film productions for ongoing Syracuse area TV 
programming and VHS/DVD/TV worldwide release. 
Seeking shorts or feature length non-fiction productions in 
all areas of the special interest or instructional fields, cut- 
ting edge documentaries and children and family pro- 
gramming. Also seeking feature length fiction, all genres, 
especially horror and sci-fi. Supernatural themed products 
wanted, both fiction and non fiction, especially supernat- 
ural/horror fiction shot documentary style (realistic). 
Contact: Ron Bonk, Sub Rosa Studios; (315) 454-5608; 
webmaster@b-movie.com; www.b-movie.com. 

THE SHORT FILM GROUP: Accepts shorts throughout 
the year for its quarterly series of screenings in Los 
Angeles. The group is a non-profit organization created to 
promote short film "as a means to itself." For more infor- 
mation, please visit www.shortfilmgroup.org. 

THIRD WORLD NEWSREEL: One of the oldest alternative 
media organizations in U.S., is seeking film & video sub- 
missions of short & feature length docs, narratives, 
experimental & other works attentive to intersections of 
race, class & gender. Projects that address other issues 
of political & social interest also welcome. Formats: 1/2" 
VHS tapes. Send submissions, synopsis of the film & 
director's bio to: Third World Newsreel, Attn: Sherae 
Rimpsey, 545 Eighth Ave., New York, NY 10018; (212) 
947-9277; fax: 594-6417; twn@twn.org; www.twn.org 

SOUTHWEST ALTERNATE MEDIA PROJECT: Is now seek- 
ing submissions for the 27th season (2002-03) of The 
Territory, the longest running PBS showcase of indepen- 
dent film/video in the country. Recent works 27 minutes or 
less, of all genre are accepted. Artists will be paid 
$35/minute for non-exclusive Texas broadcast. Send VHS 
(NTSC) copy of work with bio and synopsis to SWAMP 
1519 W. Main, Houston, Texas, 77006; 
(713) 522-8592; swamp@swamp.org; www.swamp.org. 
Deadline: April 19, 2002. 

UNQUOTE TV: Weekly nonprofit program dedicated to 
exposing innovative work of all genres. Not cablecast 
nationally Unquote is now in its 12th year. Send tO: Unquote 
TV c/o DUTV, 3141 Chestnut St. 9B/4026, Philadelphia, PA 
19104, (215) 895-2927; dutv@drexel.edu; www.dutv.org 





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VIDEO/FILM SHORTS: Wanted for cutting edge television 
station from Nantucket Island Mass. Must be suitable for 
TV broadcast. Directors interviewed, tape returned w/ audi- 
ence feedback. Accepting VHS/S-VHS, 15 min. max. SASE 
tO: Box 1042, Nantucket, MA 02554; (508) 325-7935. 

ZOOM: During the 70s, ZOOM was a kids'-only series on 
PBS, featuring kids' plays, films, games & more. ZOOM 
is back & seeking films, animation & videos made by 
kids (some adult supervision okay). Every kid who sends 
something will receive free newsletter filled w/ fun activ- 
ities & may see their film on TV. Length: up to 3 min. 
Format: 3/4", VHS, Hi8, super 8, 16mm, Beta. Age: 7-16. 
Subjects should be age appropriate. Contact: Marcy 
Gardner, WGBH/ZOOM, 125 Western Ave., Boston, MA 
02134; (617) 300-3883; marcy_gardner@wgbh.org 

QUEER PUBLIC ACCESS TV PRODUCERS: Seek public 
access show tapes by/for/about gay, lesbian, bi, drag, 
trans subjects, for inclusion in academic press book on 
queer community programming. All program genres wel- 
come. Incl. info about your program's history & distribu- 
tion. Send VHS tapes tO: Eric Freedman, Asst. Professor, 
Comm. Dept, Florida Atlantic Univ, 777 Glades Rd., 
Boca Raton, FL 33431; (561) 297-2534; 
efreedma@fau.edu 

THE SHORT LIST: Showcase int'l short films, airs nafly 
on PBS. Licenses all genres, 30 sec. to 25 mins. 
Produced in association with Kodak Worldwide 
Independent Emerging Filmmakers Program & Cox 
Channel 4. Awards five Kodak product grants annually. 
Submit on VHS. Appl. form avail, on www.theshortlist.ee; 
contact: fax (619) 462-8266 or ShortList@mail.sdsu.edu 

Publications 

SANCTUARY QUARTERLY: Is a new literary magazine that 
aims to bring the art of screenwnting to a wider audience. 
Sanctuary is devoted exclusively to creative work: 
thoughtful, entertaining, meaningful screenplay writing by 
both established screenwriters and undiscovered talent. 
Writers are encouraged to submit excerpts of quality 
screenplays for publication, www.sanctuaryquarterly.com. 

Resources • Funds 

ARTHUR VmiNG DAVIS FOUNDATIONS: Provide grants 
to support educational series assured of airing national- 
ly by PBS. Children's series are of particular interest. 
Consideration also will be given to innovative uses of 
public TV, including computer online efforts, to enhance 
educational outreach in schools and communities. 
Funding for research and preproduction is rarely sup- 
ported. Recent production grants have ranged from 
$100,000 to $500,000. Proposal guidelines available on 
website. Contact: Dr. Jonathan T Howe, Arthur Vining 
Davis Foundation, 111 Riverside Ave., Ste. 130, 
Jacksonville, FL 32202-4921; arthurvining@bell- 
south.net; www.jvm.com/davis/ 

BAVC: Announces Artist Equipment Access Awards call 
for entries, in postproduction grants for innovative video 
or new media projects. Award: $2000 in-kind grant for 
equipment use. BAVC takes special interest in video 
artists working on projects in association with communi- 
ty groups or about community issues. Deadline: May 21. 
Contact: Michella Rivera-Gravage, michella@bavc.org; 
www.bavc.org 



DIGITAL MEDIA TRAINING SERIES: DMTS is a video & 
DVD-based training series for film, television & web 
developers. The series provides high-end training tools 
that improve productivity & creativity for the end-user. 
DMTS training episodes feature the latest topics & tech- 
nology, giving viewers access to working professionals & 
experts that they would not have in a traditional class- 
room setting, at a fraction of the cost. Contact: Rafael, 
(877) 606-5012; info@magnetmediafilms.com; 
www.digitalmediatraining.com 

FLICKER FILM GRANT: Flicker is a bi-monthly short film 
festival held in cities across the country. Flicker in 
Richmond, VA & Austin, TX offer film grants in the amount 
of $100 to local filmmakers working in Super-8 or 16mm. 
Send short proposal to the Flicker near you. Contact 
Flicker Austin, 7907 Doncaster Drive, Austin, Tk, 78745 
or flicker@flickeraustin.com; www.flickeraustin.com 

ITVS'S LINCS 2002 FUNDING INITIATIVE: The 

Independent Television Services (ITVS) announces LinCS 
2002 (Local Independent Collaborating with Stations), a 
funding initiative that gives independent producers and 
local public stations the opportunity to work together. 
LinCS provides incentive or matching monies to collabo- 
rations between public television stations and indepen- 
dent producers. Funding amounts will range from 
$10,000 - $75,000. LinCS 2002 seeks regionally and 
culturally diverse projects. Programs should stimulate 
civic discourse and break traditional molds of exploring 
regional, cultural, political, social and economic issues. 
Deadline: April 30. 

NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE HUMANITIES: 

Summer seminars & institutes for college & univ teach- 
ers. Seminars incl. 15 participants working in collabora- 
tion w/ 1 or 2 leading scholars. Institutes provide inten- 
sive collaborative study of texts, historical periods & 
ideas for teachers of undergrad humanities. Info & appl. 
materials are avail, from project directors. Contact: 
(202) 606-8463; sem-inst@neh.gov; www.neh.gov 

NEW DAY FILMS: Premier distribution cooperative for 
social issue media, seeks energetic independent film & 
videomakers with social issue docs for distribution to 
non-theatrical markets. Now accepting appl. for new 
membership. Contact: On the East Coast: 617-338- 
4969. West and Midwest: (415) 383-8999. Website: 
www.newday.com 

WRITER'S FILM PROJECT: Sponsored by Paramount 
Pictures, the WFP offers fiction, theature & film writers 
the opportunity to begin a career in screenwriting. Up to 
five writers will be chosen to participate & each will 
recieve a $20,000 stipend to cover his or her living 
expenses. Deadling is May 15, 2002. Applications must 
be sent by mail only. Contact: Chesterfield WFP 1158 
26th St.. PO. Box 544. Santa Monica, CA 90403: 213- 
683-3977; www.chesterfield-co.com 



Find just what you 
need to know! 

AIVF members can search all current 

notices with the AIVF interactive resource 

directory at www.aivf.org/listings 



58 THE INDEPENDENT April 2002 



DEADLINE: 1ST OF EACH MONTH, 2 MONTHS PRIOR 
TO COVER DATE (E.G. MAY 1 FOR JULY/AUGUST 
ISSUE). CONTACT: (212) 807-1400, FAX: 463-8519; 
CLASSIFIEDS@AIVRORG. 

PER ISSUE COST: 

0-240 CHARACTERS (INCL. SPACES & PUNCTUATION) 
$45 FOR NONMEMBERS/$30 FOR AIVF MEMBERS; 
241-360 CHARS: $65/$45; 361-480 CHARS: $80/$60; 
481-600 CHARS: $95/$75; OVER 600 CHARACTERS: 
CALL FOR QUOTE (212) 807-1400 X. 241 

Frequency discount: 
$5 OFF PER ISSUE FOR ADS RUNNING 5+ TIMES. 

ADS OVER SPECIFIED LENGTH WILL BE EDITED. COPY 
SHOULD BE TYPED & ACCOMPANIED BY CHECK OR 
MONEY ORDER PAYABLE TO: FIVE 304 HUDSON ST, 6TH 
FL, NEW YORK, NY 10013. INCLUDE BILLING ADDRESS; 
DAYTIME PHONE; # OF ISSUES; AND VALID MEMBER 
ID# FOR MEMBER DISCOUNT TO PAY BY VISA 
/MC/AMEX INCL. CARD #; NAME ON CARD; EXP DATE. 



Interactive classified ads 

available online at 
www.aivf.org/classifieds 



Buy • Rent • Sell 

HEY FELLOW INDEPENDENTS! Looking for equipment to 
rent? We have a complete list of cameras, lights, mics 
and editing equipment. We'll rent you something as 
small as a battery or install an entire AVID system in your 
apartment. Our prices are competitive and our attitude is 
even better. If you don't know what camera to shoot with 
or deck to edit with feel free to call. For a complete list 
go to www.ProductionJunction.com . For questions email 
info@ProductionJunction.com or phone (212) 769- 
8927. Also, check out our ads in the Freelance and Post- 
Production sections of the classifieds. 

KEEP IT DIGITAL! Digibeta deck for rent (Sony A-500), 
by day, week, month. Also dubs from Digibeta to Beta-SF^ 
VHS, DVCam, mini-DV, etc. Uncompressed Avid suite, 
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MOST COMPLETE SUPER 16MM camera package in 
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PRODUCTION EQUIPMENT FOR SALE! Visit our new 
website — www.ProductionClassifieds.com — and 
browse dozens of ads for used film and TV gear orga- 
nized under various categories. Got something to sell? 
Expose it to the industry today! For a limited time, AIVF 
members can place a classified ad on the site for 10% 
off. Use coupon code: IND838 in the Create Ad stage. 

VIDEO DECKS/EDIT SYSTEMS/CAMERAS FOR RENT: 

I deliver! Beta-SP deck (Sony UVW-1800) $150/day, 
$450/wk. Also, 1:1 Avid Suite, Final Cut, DV Cam decks 
and cameras, mics, lights, etc. Production Central (212) 
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WANTED: STOCK FOOTAGE SUBMISSIONS. Buyout 
Footage.com is currently seeking submissions for film, 
video and motion graphics. Please see our web site for 
details, http://www.buyoutfootage.com. 

Distribution 

#1 award-winning distributor and producer, 

seeks new programs on healthcare, end-of-life, disabili- 
ties, mental health & caregiving, by independent produc- 
ers. Our producers and their films receive the attention 
they deserve! Contact us at (888) 440-2963, 
leslie@aquariusproductions.com, or send a preview 
copy tO: 5 Powderhouse Lane, Sherborn, MA 01701. 
www.aquariusproductions.com. 

19 YEARS AS AN INDUSTRY LEADER! Representing out- 
standing video on healthcare, mental health, disabilities 
& related issues; which win Oscars, Emmys, Duponts, 
Freddies & more. Join us! Fanlight Productions: (800) 
937-4113; www.fanlight.com. 

BALLANTINE FILMS.COM: Online streaming and 
resource site for film and video professionals is seeking 
submissions of independent and student film and 
videos, preferrbly shorts, in all genres for free streaming 
broadcast. Contact: info@BallantineFilms.com or visit 
website for more information: www.BallantineFilms.com. 

THE CINEMA GUILD, leading film/video/multimedia dis- 
tributor, seeks new doc, fiction, educational & animation 
programs for distribution. Send videocassettes or discs 
for evaluation to: The Cinema Guild, 130 Madison Ave., 
2nd fl., New York, NY 10016; (212) 685-6242; 
gcrowdus@cinemaguild.com; Ask for our Distribution 
Services brochure. 

EDUCATIONAL DISTRIBUTOR SEEKS VIDEOS on guid- 
ance issues such as violence, drug prevention, mentor- 
ing, children's health & parenting for exclusive distribu- 
tion. Our marketing gives unequaled results! Call Sally 
Germain at The Bureau for At-Risk Youth: (800) 99- 
YOUTH X. 210. 

LOOKING FOR AN EDUCATIONAL DISTRIBUTOR? 

Consider the University of California. We can put 80 
years of successful marketing expertise to work for you. 
Kate Spohn (510) 643-2788; www.cmil.unex.berk- 
eley.edu/media. 

Freelance 

35MM/16MM PROD. PKG w/ DP Complete packagew/ 
DP's own Arri 35BL, 16SR, HMIs, dolly, jib crane, light- 
ing, DAT, grip, 5-ton truck. . . more. Call for reel: Tom 
Agnello (201) 741-4367; roadtoindy@aol.com. 

ACCOUNTANT/BOOKKEEPER/CONTROLLER: Experience 

in both corporate & nonprofit sectors. Hold MBA in 
Marketing & Accounting. Freelance work sought. Sam 
Sagenkahn (917) 374-2464. 

ANDREW DUNN, Director of Photography/camera opera- 
tor Arri35 BL3, Aaton XTRprod S16, Sony DVCAM. 
Experience in features, docs, TV & industrials. Credits: 
Dog Run, Strays, Working Space/Working Light. (212) 
477-0172; AndrewD158@aol.com. 

AVID EDITOR W/ SYMPHONY recently relocated to 
Burbank. excellent rates, both off- and online. Looking to 
form long-term relationships with independents. Call 



Charlene for info and reel at (818) 563-1426 or email 
PeregrineFilms@aol.com. 

AWARD-WINNING EDITOR, w/ Avid and Beta SP facility. 
Features, shorts, docs, music videos, educational, 
industrials, demos. Trilingual: Spanish, English, Catalan. 
Nuria Olive-Belles (212) 228-4724. 

CINEMATOGRAPHER & EDITOR w/ complete Super 
16mm ARRI camera pkg. and AVID Film/Media Composer 
system. Experienced, award-winning, excellent rates. 
Call us at (310) 745-1216 or visit www.filmvideoser- 
vices.com. 

CINEMATOGRAPHER w/ Aaton reg/super-16mm, Sony 
600 Beta, Sony DSR-500 DVCAM packages + lights + 
Van. Experienced, looking to collaborate on features, 
docs shorts & commercials. Adam Vardy, reel + rates 
(212) 932 8255; nyvardy@worldnet.att.net. 

CINEMATOGRAPHER w/ awards, talent & experience. 
Credits incl. features, commercials, industrials, docs. 
Various film/video pkgs. avail. Call for top quality reel. 
Robert (212) 343-0755 rblnr@earthlink.net. 

CINEMATOGRAPHER w/ Super 16 package with video 
tap, digital, lighting; 20 yrs experience on features, 
shorts, documentaries, music videos. Excellent crew. 
Italian, English, some Spanish; will travel. Renato Tonelli 
(718) 728-7567; rtonelli@tiscalinet.it. 

CINEMATOGRAPHER with Aaton 16mm/sl6mm pack- 
age, DVCAM, DV, lighting gear and more. A special inter- 
est in docs and other projects with progressive social 
values. Kevin Skvorak (718) 782-9179; k.skvorak 
@verizon.net. 

COMPOSER: creative, experienced multi-faceted com- 
poser/sound designer excels in any musical style and 
texture to enhance your project. Credits incl. award win- 
ning docus, features, TV films, animations on networks, 
cable, PBS, MTV. Full prod, studio in NYC. Columbia MA 
in composition. Free demo CD & consult. Elliot Sokolov 
(212) 721-3218 elliotsoko@aol.com. 

COMPOSER: Double the emotional intensity of your film 
with real acoustic & electric gtr sounds (no cheesy key- 
boards!). Pearljam to Enya. Me: BMI, MTV, FOX TV, 
Showtime. Team player. Cheap rates. Fast! Daniel 
Christopherson (425) 825-0909, 

COMPOSER Miriam Cutler loves to collaborate with film- 
makers - docs, features, TV, animation, even circus. 
Highlights: 2002 Berlin "Lost In La Mancha", 2001 
Sundance Awards/POV "Scout's Honor", 1998 Peabody 
"The Castro", 1997 Sundance Awards /POV "Licensed 
To Kill", and more. (310)398-5985 Email: mircut2 
@earthlink.net, 

COMPOSER: Original music for your film or video pro- 
ject. Will work with any budget. Complete digital studio, 
NYC area. Demo CD upon request. Call Ian O'Brien: (201) 
222-2638; iobrien@bellatlantic.net. 

COMPOSER: Perfect music for your project. Orchestral to 
techno, you name it! Credits incl. NFL, PBS, Sundance, 
Absolut, Bach, of Music, Eastman School. Quentin 
Chiappetta (718) 782-4535; medianoise@excite.com. 

DIGITAL CINEMATOGRAPHER with experience in film 
looks, tape to film transfers and generally getting more 
bang for you buck, I also have the equipment and staff 



April 2002 THE INDEPENDENT 59 







E) 



needed for film looks, letterboxing, conversions, duplica- 
tion, etc. Clients include ABC, ESPN, Fox and numerous 
documentary and independents. I have multiple camera 
formats, mics, lights, etc. and can crew your project or run 
and gun solo. For a complete list go to 
www.ProductionJunction.com.For questions email 
Chris@ProductionJunction.com or phone (212) 769-8927. 

DIGITAL VIDEO— Sony VXIOOO digital camera & cam- 
eraman, Sennheiser ME 66 shotgun mic, pro acces- 
sories. Experienced in dance, theater, performance art 
documentation & features. Final Cut Pro digital editing 
with editor $125/day. John Newell (212) 677-6652; 
johnewell@earthlink.net. 

DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY with Aaton Super 
16/16mm and Arri 35BL2 camera pkgs. Independent 
films a specialty. Create that "big film" look on a low 
budget. Flexible rates, I work quickly. Willing to travel. 
Matthew: (617) 244-6730; (845)-439-5459; 
mwdp@att.net. 

DOC PRODUCER: Will help with what ails you. 
Treatments, fundraising, budgeting, production and 
post questions. Reasonable rates. Recent ITVS 
production. Chuck Schultz (212) 563-4504 or 
blueprintprods@hotmail.com. 

DOC WRITER: Sharon Wood available for treatments, 
scripts, narration, and proposals. Good collaborator, 
one-offs or series. Credits incl. Paragraph 175 (HBO), 
KPFA On the Air (POV), And Then One Night (KQED). 
(415) 282-5317. WoodSL@aol.com. 

DP W/ AATON XTR PROD & SONY DSR-500 (16:9 pal & 
ntsc) Well-rounded, well-travelled D.R looking for cre- 
ative projects at home and abroad. Extensive lighting 
package also available. Call Lloyd @ (718) 623-0092. 
Ilds@earthlink.net. 

DV CONSULTANT: Need help w/ Final Cut Pro' Exp. con- 
sultant avail, for training in FCR AfterEffects, Media 
Cleaner Pro, or just Mac basics. Former Apple tech rep. 
& working filmmaker in NYC. Discount for AIVF members. 
Greg (347) 731-3466. 

ENTERTAINMENT ATTORNEY frequent contributor to 
"Legal Brief" in The Independent & other mags, offers 
legal services to film & video community on projects 
from development thru distribution. Contact Robert L. 
Seigel, Esq, (212) 333-7000. 

EXPERIENCED LINE PRODUCER available to help with 
your Breakdown, Schedule, Day out of Days and/or 
Budget. Specialty is low budget but high quality. Email 
AnnettaLM@aol.com for rates and references. 

GRANTWRITING/FUNDRAISING: Research, writing & 
strategy (for production, distribution, exhibition, & edu- 
cational projects of media). Successful proposals to 
NYSCA, NEA, NEH, ITVS, Soros, Rockefeller, Lila Acheson 
Wallace Foundation. Fast writers, reasonable rates. 
Wanda Bershen, (212) 598-0224; www.reddiaper.com; 
or Geri Thomas (212) 625-2011; www.artstaffing.com. 

LOCATION SOUND: Over 20 yrs sound exp. w/timecode 
Nagra & DAT, quality mics. Reduced rates for low-budget 
projects. Harvey & Fred Edwards, (518) 677-5720; 
edfilms@worldnet.att.net. 

PRODUCER WITH A CREW: Line Producer with top 
notch crew and equipment available for features, indus- 



trials, commercials and shorts. Rates for all budgets. 
Contact Peter Welch at (212) 615-6457, email: 
pwelch@earthlink.net. 

PRODUCTION SERVICES: Emmy Award-winning docu- 
mentary team offers production services from soup to 
nuts. DV, NTSC and PAL cameras. Extensive intemation- 
al co-production experience. Final Cut Pro and AVID edit- 
ing. Contact info@jezebel.org. 

SCRIPT CONSULTANT: Does your script have a medical 
scene or character? Experienced MD/filmmaker will 
review it for accuracy & authenticity. Reasonable rates & 
fast turnaround. Jay McLean-Riggs (425) 462-7393; 
jay.mcleanriggs@aya.yale.edu. 

VIDEOGRAPHER WITH CANON XLIS. (The Canon XLls 
has 27 more features than XLl.) Available for hire in 
documentaries, shorts and events. Dirt-cheap prices! 
Call or email Jose Bayona (718) 305-8458; (347) 623- 
1989 josebayona@yahoo.com. 



Opportunities • Gigs 

PT PROF in FILM INDUSTRY for Audrey Cohen 
College Top NYC Wkend Exex MBA Program in 
Media Mgmt: Knowledge in Film Industry 
Structure/Finance/Production/Marketing/Distribution. 
MBA/JD/PHD-(- Producing & Biz Experience Essential. 
Please Fax FRM-AVF (212) 343-8477. 

WELL-ESTABLISHED freelance camera group m NYC 
seeking professional cameramen and soundmen w/ solid 
Betacam video experience to work w/ our wide array of 
clients. If qualified contact COA at (212) 505-1911. 
Must have video samples/reel. 



Preproduction 

SU-CITY PICTURES clients win awards and get deals! 
Susan Kougell, Harvard/Tufts instructor, author The 
Savvy Screenwriter analyzes: scripts/films/treat- 
ments/queries/synopses/pitches. 
Credits: Miramax/Warner Bros/Fine Line. Rewrites avail- 
able. (212) 219-9224; www.su-city-pictures.com. 



POSTPRODUCTION 

16MM SOUND MIX only $100/hr. Interlocked 16mm pic- 
ture & tracks mixed to 16 or 35mm fullcoat. 
16mm/35mm post services: picture & sound editorial, 
ADR, interlock screening, 16mm mag xfers (.065/ft). 
16mm edgecoding (.015/ft). Call Tom (201) 741-4367. 

A-RAY PRODUCTIONS RENTS AVIDS: Our place or 
yours. Comfortable edit suites in Weston, CT or we'll 
bring it to you (2-wk minimum). Rates from $1000. 
Includes AVR 77 -i- Real Time EFX. Award-winning edi- 
tors available. Call (203) 544-1267. 

AVID & FINAL CUT PRO, your place or mine. We have a 
full on Final Cut Pro Suite in a chill location. SCSI drives, 
multiple monitors, BetaSP DVCam, etc. The AVID 
(AVR77) is designed to travel and can be installed in your 
apartment or office in a few hours with 24/7 tech sup- 
port. Need an editor? We have multiple editor reels at 
various rates. These systems are owned by production 
companies who understand your needs as well 



as you do. For a complete list go to 
www.ProductionJunction.com. For questions email 
Chris@ProductionJunction.com or phone (212) 769- 
8927. 

AVID MEDIA COMPOSER XLIOOO On-Line or Off. Great 
rental prices! Convenient Chelsea location, 24/7 access: 
Riverside Films (212) 242-3005. 

BRODSKY & TREADWAY Film-to-tape masters. Reversal 
only. Regular 8mm, Super 8, or archival 16mm. We love 
early B&W & Kodachrome. Scene-by-scene only. Correct 
frame rates. For appt. call (978) 948-7985. 

DVD DESIGN AND PRODUCTION for film and video 
artists. Even if you have your own DVD burner, quality 
design and authoring makes all the difference. Discount 
for AIVF members. Contact: dvd@randomroom.com; 
www.randomroom.com. 

FINAL CUT PRO CLASSES. Learn to edit video/film on 
Final Cut Pro! Each student works on a dual screen FCP 
workstation. Our class sizes are very small (only 2 stu- 
dents per class) so we can give you the individual atten- 
tion you need to really learn the software fast. The 
teacher for this class is a former commercial Avid edi- 
tor/instructor who has worked at most of the major ad 
agencies in NYC for the past 5 years and who has 
switched to Final Cut Pro about two years ago believing 
it will soon be the standard for all professional editing 
because it is affordable to all and can accomplish all the 
aspects of professional editing at a fraction of the cost of 
an Avid Media Composer Bring your own project in. Lab 
time mcluded with class. Weekend, weekday, day and 
night classes. Check out our website and register online. 
Classes located at: 225 Lafayette Street, Suite 714. We 
also do one on one instruction at our studio, or at your 
home or office. Make your first music video, documen- 
tary, feature film, or just take those old wedding pictures 
out and cut something special. Editing services also 
available. S.R.P Video services. Inc., 225 Lafayette 
Street, Suite 714, NY NY 10012. Phone: 212-334-7380 
Web: www.FinalCutproClasses.com E-mail: info@final- 
cutproclasses.com. 

FINAL CUT PRO SYSTEM: Final Cut Pro 3.0, 533 dual 
processor, 22 hrs. broadcast storage. Sony DSR 40 
Recorder & 2-19" monitors. Call Chuck Schultz, Blue 
Print Prods. (212) 563-4504 or blueprintprods@hot- 
mail.com. 

PRODUCTION TRANSCRIPTS; Verbatim transcripts for 
documentaries, journalists, etc. Low prices & flat rates 
based on tape length. Standard 1 hr., 1-on-l interview is 
only $70: www.productiontranscripts.com for details or 
call: (888) 349-3022. 



interactive classified ads at 
vmw.aivf.org/classifieds 

• 

AIVF members can search all 

benefit, classified, and notice listings 

with the AIVF interactive resource 

directory at www.aivf.org/listings 



GO THE INDEPENDENT April 2002 



i 



www.aivf.org 



MASTER CLASS: 
SUSTAINING YOUR VISION: A 
DISCUSSION IN THREE PARTS 

Sustaining Your Vision provides an 
opportunity to learn from accomplished 
feature film producers, directors, and dis- 
tributors via their triumphs, untold tactics 
and war stories. The Master Class Series 
examines how filmmakers have main- 
tained their independence throughout 
the production process, and have been 
able to present their work to their intend- 
ed audiences. 

Three case studies will inform producers 
of ways to maintain creative vision 
through technique, craft, and a little busi- 
ness savvy. Find out how successful film- 
makers got the deals, and got their films 
made and ultimately seen. How did they 
maintain the integrity of their project? 

I. Financing Your Independent Vision 

The first session addresses the many aspects 
of fimdraising and financing the indepen- 
dent film, including forming a legal entity, 
putting together a prospectus or business 
plan, finding and approaching investors, 
and exploring other avenues of funding. 

II. Realizing Your Independent Vision 

This session will explore the director's cre- 
ative process. Topics will include working 
with the writer, casting and directing actors, 
and collaborating with the cinematographer. 

III. Sharing Your Independent Vision 

This final session focuses on getting your 
film to its audience. How might you work 
with a distributor to maximize viewer 
potential? Topics will include creating 
buzz, getting publicity and working with a 
publicist, outreach and audience develop- 
ment, and ways to engage your audience 
beyond the screening. 

Details pending at press time. Visit 
www.aivf org for info. 



Unless otherwise noted, all AIVF events take 
place at our offices (see below) and require an 
RSVR For information, call (212) 807-1400 
ext. 301 or info@aivf.org. 

In Brief: 
PRODUCERS LEGAL SERIES 

In Brief: Producers Legal Series addresses 
the issues independent producers face 
throughout the various stages of their pro- 
jects, from forming a legal entity to 
financing a film through private invest- 
ments and foundation grants. These small 
group sessions answer common questions 
and connect producers with individuals 
who can introduce them to resources for 
their projects. The series is led by enter- 
tainment attorney Innes Smolansky of 
Cowan, DeBaets, Abrahams & Sheppard. 
Smolansky specializes in independent 
film, and represents independent producers, 
writers, and directors. 

Production Legal Issues 

When: Thurs., April 11, 6:30-8:30 p.m. 
Cost: $20 members; $30 nonmembers 

Discussion will address all types of clear- 
ances, including literary clearances, music 
rights, personal releases, clearing stock 
footage, and negotiating location permits. 
Errors and Omissions insurance and 
negotiations with guilds and unions will 
also be defined and addressed. 

The final seminar in the Legal Series will 
be held in May and will focus on distribu- 
tion deals. 

Meet & Greet 
KILLER FILMS 

When: Thurs., April 18, 6:30-8:30 p.m. 

Where: AIVF office 

Cost: $5 members; $20 nonmembers 

KILLER FILMS was founded in 1996 and 
is headed by producers Christine Vachon, 
Pamela Koffler, and Katie Roumel. Killer 




Films' first project was pho- 
tographer Cindy Sherman's 
Office Killer. Vachon, 
Koffler, and Roumel 
have made a number 
of award-winning films, 
including Tony Vitale's 
Kiss Me Guido, Todd 
Solondz' Happiness and Storytelling, Todd 
Haynes's Velvet Goldmine, Dan Minahan's 
Series 7, Kimberly Pierce's Boys Don't Cry, 
and John Cameron Mitchell's Hedwig and 
the Angry Inch, based on the off-Broadway 
stage show. 

Upcoming releases include Mark 
Romanek's One Hour Photo, Rose 
Troche's The Safety of Objects, Tim Blake 
Nelson's The Grey Zone, and Ethan 
Hawke's Chelsea Walls. Killer Films is cur- 
rently in production on Todd Haynes's 
new film. Far From Heaven. Killer also has 
film and television projects in develop- 
ment with Isaac Mizrahi, Mary Harron, 
Q-Tip, Neve Campbell, Whit Stillman, 
and several other writers, directors, 
and performers. 



reackAIVF 

FILMMAKERS' RESOURCE LIBRARY 
HOURS: TUES.-FRI. 11-6; WED. 11-9 

The AIVF office is located at 304 Hudson St. 

(between Spring & Vandam) 6th fl., in 

New York City. Subways: 1 or 9 to Houston, 

C or E to Spring. Our Filmmal^ers' Resource 

Library houses hundreds of print and 

electronic resources, from essential 

directories & trade magazines to sample 

proposals & budgets. 

BY PHONE: (212)807-1400 

Recorded information available 24/7; 
operator on duty Tues.-Fri. 2-5p,m. EST 

BY INTERNET: 

www.aivf.org; info@aivf.org 



April 2002 THE INDEPENDENT 61 



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DOUBLETAKE DOCUMENTARY 
FILM FESTIVAL 

April 4-7, Durham, NC 

DoubleTake celebrates the power and 
artistry of documentary cinema. DDFF 
offers a rare opportunity for documentary 
filmmakers to showcase their work the- 
atrically, in an environment that stimu- 
lates conversation and community 
between filmmakers, industry executives 
and the general public. 

The four-day event 
presents a unique 
assortment of film 
screenings, both curat- 
ed and submitted for 
competition, panel 
discussions, seminars and Q&A sessions. 
It offers tributes to the masters of the doc- 
umentary genre and business leaders in 
the industry and, of course, parties where 
attendees can meet and greet one anoth- 
er and the filmmakers whose works they 
have come to see. For further info: 
www.ddfif.org; (919) 660-3699. 

WISCONSIN INDEPENDENT 
FILM FESTIVAL 

April 4-7, Madison, Wl 

Now in its fourth year, the Wisconsin Film 
Festival has quickly grown to be the 
region's premier independent and special- 
ty film event. Featuring fresh and original 
independent film, documentaries, world 
cinema, new media and the work of 
Wisconsin filmmakers, the media has 
hailed the Festival as "one of the best 
events of its kind in the Midwest," and "a 
vital forum for community-unifying art." 
www.wifllmfest.org, or (877) 963-FlLM. 

During the festival, be sure to check out: 
Meet the Filmmaker Coffeehouse: 
Self-Distribution with Okie Noodling's 
Bradley Beesley 

When: Sun., April 7, 1 p.m. 
Where: Steep & Brew 
Cost: Free 

Okie Noodling and The Flaming Lips Have 
Landed will screen on Sat., April 6, 3 p.m. 
at the Orpheum Stage Door (216 State 
Street). Tickets are $7 general admission. 



ASPEN SHORTSFEST 
April 9-13, Aspen, CO 

One of North America's pre-eminent 
short film competitions, this eleven-year- 
old festival showcases the most innovative 
and vibrant voice on the cinematic land- 
scape — the short film. Competing for sig- 
nificant cash prizes, animated, live action 
and documentary' award winners may also 
qualify for Academy Award consideration. 

Enthusiastic audiences, young film artists 
and special guests from around the globe 
gather to participate in public screenings, 
panels, workshops, and other festivities 
celebrating the art and craft of short film- 
making. For info: www.aspenfilm.org; 
(970) 925-6882. 

MIAMI GAY AND LESBIAN 

FILM FESTIVAL 
April 26 -May 5, Miami, PL 

Around the world, the MGLFF is one of 
the festivals for both the film industr>- and 
the general public to watch for high-qual- 
ity, innovative gay cinema, not to mention 
the event's fun, tropical Latin-South 
Beach flavor. MGLFF presents films and 
videos of all genres, lengths, and formats, 
including dramatic, documentary, and 
experimental works by, about, and of 
interest to the gay, lesbian, bisexual and 
transgender (GLBT) community. With a 
strong international showing, it places spe- 
cial emphasis on works by U.S. Hispanic, 
Latin American and Spanish filmmakers. 

The upcoming Festival will continue its 
lineup o{ world, U.S., and South Florida 
premieres, with a diverse group of more 
than 33 programs over 10 days. 
For info: www.miamigaylesbianfilm.com, 
(305) 534-9924. 

AIVF members are eligible for discounted 
tickets at The Walter Reade Theatre and 
Cinema Village. Both New York venues show 
independent and international films. Please 
show membership card at box office. 

The Walter Reade Theatre is located at Lincoln Center, 
165 West 65th St. (212) 875-5600: www.filmlinc.com. 

Cinema Village is located at 22 E 12th Street. 
(212) 924-3363. 



62 THE INDEPENDENT April 2002 



AIVF REGIONAL SALONS PROVIDE OPPORTUNITY FOR 
MEMBERS TO DISCUSS WORK, MEET OTHER INDE- 
PENDENTS, SHARE WAR STORIES, AND CONNECT 
WITH THE AIVF COMMUNITY ACROSS THE COUNTRY 
VISIT THE REGIONAL SALONS SECTION AT 
WWWAIVFORG FOR MORE DETAILS. 

BE SURE TO CONTACT YOUR LOCAL SALON LEADER TO 
CONFIRM DATE, TIME, AND LOCATION OF THE NEXT 
MEETING! 



Albany/Troy, NY: Upstate Independents 

When: First Tuesday, 6:30 pm 

Where: Capital District Arts Ctr., Troy, NY 

Contact: Jeff Burns, (518) 283-7378, 

jeff_burns23@yahoo.com, 

www.upstateindependents.org 

Atlanta, GA: IMAGE 

When: Second Tuesday, 7 pm 

Where: Redlight Cafe, 553 Amsterdam Ave. 

Contact: Mark Smith, (404) 352-4225 xl2, 

www.imagefv.org 

Austin, TX: Austin Film Society 

When: Last Monday, 7 pm 

Contact: Anne del Castillo, (512) 507-8105, 

labc@att.net, www.austinfilm.org 

Birmingham, AL: 

When: First Tuesday 

Where: Production Plus, 2910 Crescent Ave., 

Homewood, AL 

Contact: Clay Keith, ckeithlOOO@yahoo.com, 

Karen Scott, WScott9268@aol.com, 

(205) 663-3802 

Boston, MA: 

Contact: Fred Simon, (781) 784-3627, - 
FSimon@aol.com 



Boulder, CO: "Films for Change" 
Screenings When: First Tuesday, 7 pm 
Where: Boulder Public Library, 1000 Arapahoe 
Contact: Patricia Townsend, (303) 442-8445, 
patricia@freespeech.org 

Charleston, SC: 

When: Last Thursday, 6:30pm 
Where: Charleston County Library, 
68 Calhoun St. 

Contact: Peter Paolini, (843) 805-6841; 
Peter Wentworth, filmsalon@aol.com 

Cleveland, OH: Ohio Independent Film Festival 

Contact: Annetta Marion or Bernadette 
GiUota, (216) 651-7315, 
OhioIndieFilmFest@juno.com, 
www.ohiofilms.com 

Dallas, TX: Video Association of Dallas 

Contact: Bart Weiss, (214) 428-8700, 
bart@videofest.org 

Edison, NJ: 

Contact: Allen Chou, (732) 321-0711, 

allen@passionriver.com, 

www.passionriver.com 

Fort Wayne, IN: 

Contact: Eric Molberg, emollberg@acpl.lib.in.us; 
Catherine Lee, movies@cinemacenter.org, 
www.cinemacenter.org 

Houston, TX: SWAMP 

When: Last Tuesday, 6:30pm 

Where: SWAMR 1519 West Main 

Contact: (713) 522-8592, swamp@swamp.org 

Huntsville, AL: 

Where: McClellan's Studios for Dramatic Arts 
Contact: Charles White, 
charles.white@tdsi.com 



AIVF Welcomes Fort Wayne, Indiana, into the Salon Family! 

Catherine Lee and Eric IVIollberg have embarked together on the challenge of 
running an AIVF Salon. Their mission is to identify independent community film- 
and videomakers, provide opportunities to showcase salon members' work, and 
foster a supportive environment for up and coming independent artists within 
the media field. The first salon meeting will be a showcase of works by local film 
and video artists. 

In the coming months, Lee and Molberg intend to provide forums for showcas- 
ing salon members' work through the help of Cinema Center in Fort Wayne. The 
Fort Wayne Salon will also be partnering with the Communications Department 
of Saint Francis College for resource building. 

Lee is the executive director of Cinema Center. Since 1976, Cinema Center has 
brought the best in independent, classic, foreign, documentary, and specialty 
films to Fort Wayne. Mollberg is an assistant manager at the Government and 
Public Cable Access stations that are hosted through the local public library. 

For more info: emollberg@acpl.lib.in.us 

movies@cinemacenter.org 

www. cinemacenten org 



Detailed information on all salons is 
posted on the web! Visit www.aivf.org 



Lincoln, NE: Nebraska Ind. Film Project 

When: Second Wednesday, 5:30 pm 

Where: Telepro, 1844 N Street 

Contact: Jared Minary, 

mediaarts33@yahoo.com, 

www. lincolnne . com/nonprofi t/nifp 

Los Angeles, CA: EZTV 

When: Third Monday, 7:30 pm 

Where: EZTV, 1653 18th St., Santa Monica 

Contact: Michael Masucci, (310) 829-3389, 

mmasucci@aol.com 

Milwaukee, WI: 

Milwaukee Independent Film Society 

When: First Wednesday, 7pm 
Where: Milwaukee Enterprise Center, 
2821 North 4th, Room 140 
Contact: Dan Wilson, (414) 276-8563, 
www.mifs.org/salon 

Portland, OR: 

Contact: Beth Harrington, (503) 223-0407, 
betuccia@aol.com 

Rochester, NY: 

When: First Wednesday, 7pm 

(Subject to change; call to confirm schedule) 

Where: Visual Studies Workshop 

Contact: Kate Kressmann-Kehoe, 

(716) 244-8629, ksk@netacc.net 

San Diego, CA: 

Contact: Ethan van ThiUo, (619) 230-1938, 
aivf@mediaartscenter.org 

Seattle, WA: 

Contact: Heather Ayres, (206) 297-0933 
mybluesun@hotmail.com; Jane Selle 
Morgan,(206) 915-6263, 
j ane @heropictures .com 

South Florida: 

Contact: Dominic Giannetti, 

(561) 313-0330, themoviebiz@hotmail.com, 

www.moviebiz.info 

Tucson, AZ: 

When: First Monday, 6pm 

Where: Access Tucson, 124 E. Broadway 

Contact: Rosarie Salerno, 

yourdestiny@mindspring.com 

Washington, DC: 

Contact: Joe Torres, jatvelez@hotmail.com, 
DC Salon hotline (202) 554-3263 x 4, 
aivfdcsalonsubscribe@yahoogroups.com 

SALONS ARE RUN BY AIVF MEMBERS, OFTEN IN 
ASSOCIATION WITH LOCAL PARTNERS. 

AIVF HAS RESOURCES TO ASSIST ENTHUSIASTIC AND 
COMMITTED MEMBERS WHO WISH TO START A SALON 
IN THEIR OWN COMMUNITY! 

PLEASE CALL (212) 807-1400 X236 OR E-MAIL 
MEMBERS@AIVFORG FOR INFORMATION! 



April 2002 THE INDEPENDENT 63 



Essential Resources for 
Independent Video and Filmmakers 




AlVF's top selling reference: All New Edition! 

The AIYF Guide to 

International Film and Video Festivals 

edited by Michelle Coe $35 / $25 AIVF members plus shipping and tiandling. 

Up-to-date profiles of over 900 Film & Video Festivals, with complete contact and deadline information. 
First published in 1982, AlVF's Festival Guide is the most established and trusted source of information 
and inside views of film and video festivals around the world. Supplemented by selected reprints from 
The Independent's Festival Circuit column, profiling over 40 festivals in-depth from the filmmaker's 
perspective. The Guide is published to order, ensuring the most current information available! For AIVF 
members, the Festival Guide is enhanced by monthly listings in The Independent magazine, and an 
online interactive festival directory that is continually updated! 



New! An interactive guide to grassroots distribution! 

The AIVF & MediaRights.org 
Independent Producers' Outreach Toolkit 



""""ICHTS.ORG 




edited by MediaRights.org $125 / $115 AIVF members 

Show funders how your film will have an impact! Your documentary can move audiences to take action 
for social change. W/hat's your plan? Use this interactive resource to design, implement, and evaluate an 
effective outreach campaign. The Outreach Toolkit also downloads to your PDA and includes interactive 
worksheets; budgeting tools; a print resource binder; individualized consultation with outreach experts; 
case studies including funded proposals; an online producers' forum; and much more! 

OTHER GUIDES TO GETTING YOUR WORK OUT TO AUDIENCES: 

THE AIYF GUIDE TO FILM & VIDEO EXHIBITORS 

edited by Kathryn Bowser $35/ $25 AIVF members ©1999 

THE AIYF SELF-DISTRIBUTION TOOLKIT 

edited by loannis Mookas $30 / $20 AIVF members ©1999 

Buy Both Self-Distribution Books and Save! $60/ $40 AIVF members 

THE NEXT STEP: DISTRIBUTING INDEPENDENT FILMS AND YIDEOS 

edited by Morrie Warshawski $24.95 © 1995 







IKT 

OlSTtlSUTINC MEPBOM 
Yl FlLxSANOVlDeOS (f 



QUAN. PRICE 



Name 

AIVF member? CH no CH yes Member Number: 

Organization 

Address 



The AIVF Guide to International Film and Video Festivals 

Michelle Coe, ed.; ©2001; $35 / $25 members 



(NOTE: STREET ADDRESS REQUIRED; BOOKS CANNOT BE DELIVERED TO PO BOXES) 

City 



® The MediaRights.org & AIVF Independent Producers' Outreach Toolkit 

($125 / $1 15 members) to order log on to www.mediarlghts.org/toolkit 

The AIVF Film and Video Exhibitors Guide $35 / $25 



state 



ZIP 



_Country 



The AIVF Film and Video Self-Distribution Toolkit $30 / $20 



Weekday tel. 

LJ Check enclosed 
Acct# 



Email 



Please bill my LH Visa LJ Mastercard LJ American Express 
Exp. date: / / 



'both Self Distribution titles $60/ $40 members 



The Next Step $24.95 



Charge your order via v\/ww. a ivf.org; by phone: (212) 807-1400 x 303; 

by fax: (212) 463-8519; or make checks payable to FIVF and mail to 

FIVF, 304 Hudson Street, 6th floor, New York, NY 10013 



SUBTOTAL 

Postage/handling: us (surface mail): $6 first, $4 ea add. 
Foreign: provide FedEx account # or contact us for rate 

TOTAL 



Please allow 2-4 weeks for delivery (shipped UPS); expedited orders require a $15 processing fee in addition to shipping charges. 
Note that UPS will not deliver to PO boxes. If you live In Manhattan, you may prefer to come by our Filmmaker Resource Library for instant gratification! 



The Foundation for Independent Video and Film (FIVF), the educational affiliate 
of the Association for Independent Video and Filmmakers (AIVF), supports a 

variety of programs and services for the 
independent media community, including 



H^^U j,^i^.^..;.,t^ 



publication of The Independent and a series of resource publications, seminars 
and workshops, and information services. 

None of this work would be possible without the generous support of the AIVF 
membership and the following organizations: 

..^tr^AL The Academy Foundation 

r;:."'.",; j|-|e Mary Duke Biddle Foundation 
The Chase Manhattan Foundation 
Forest Creatures Entertainment, Inc. 



Q 

NYSCA 



The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation 

The John D. and Catherine T. 
MacArthur Foundation 

The National Endowment for the Arts 

New York State Council on the Arts 



We also wish to thank the following individuals and organizational members: 

Business/Industry Members: CA: Actlon/Cut Directed By seminars; Attaboc LLC; 
Busk Entertainment, LLC; Calliope Films, Inc.; Eastman Kodak Co.; Film Society of Ventura County; 
Forest Creatures Entertainment Co.; Groovy Like a Movie; HBO; The Hollywood Reporter; Moonshadow 
Production & Research; MPRM; SJPL Films, Ltd.; CO: The Crew/ Connection; Inferno Film Productions; 
FL: Bakus Internatinal, Inc/ Odysseas Entertainment, Inc.; Burn Productions; IL: Buzzbait; Rock Valley 
College; Wiggle Puppy Productions; Wonderdog Media; MA: CS Associates; Glidecam Industries; MD: The 
Learning Channel; U.S. Independents, Inc.; Ml: Grace & Wild Studios, Inc.; Kingberry Productions, Inc.; 
MN: Allies; Media/Art; NJ: DIVA Communications, Inc.; NY: AKQ Communications, Ltd.; American Montage; 
Analog Digital Intl., Inc.; Black Bird Post; Bravo Film and Video; The Bureau for At-Risk Youth; C- 
Hundred Film Corporation; Cineblast! Prods.; Corra Films; Cypress Films; Dependable Delivery, Inc.; 
Docurama; Dr. Reiff and Assoc.; Earth Video; Field Hand Productions, Inc.; Guerilla News Network; 
Highdrama Productions Inc.; Historic Films Archive; Jalapeno Media; Lighthouse Creative, Inc.; 
MacKenzie Culter, Inc.; Mad Mad Judy; Mercer Street Sound; Metropolis Film Lab Inc.; Mixed Greens; 
New Rican Filmmaker; New York Independent Film School; One Kilohertz; The Outpost; Partisan 
Pictures; Paul Dinatale Post, Inc.; Persona Films; Post Typhoon Sky, Inc.; Seahorse Films; Suitcase 
Productions; Swete Studios; Wolfen Prods.; PA: Cubist Post & Effects; Smithtown Creek Prods.; TX: 
Upstairs Media Inc.; UT: KBYU-TV; Rapid Video, LLC; VA: Dorst MediaWorks; Roland House, Inc.; WV: 
Harpers Ferry Center Library 

Nonprofit Members: AL: sidewalk Moving picture Fest.; AZ: Scottsdale Community Coll.; U of 
Central Arkansas/ Channel 6 Television; CA: Antelope Valley Independent Film Festival; California Newsreel; 
Filmmakers Alliance; International Buddhist Film Festival; Itvs; Los Angeles Film Commission; Media 
Fund; NAATA; Ojai Film Soc; Reach L.A.; San Francisco Jewish Film Fest.; USC School of Cinema TV; FL: 
Manatee Community College; GA; Image Film & Video Center; HI: U. of Hawaii Outreach College; ID: Center 
for School Improvement; IL: Art Institute of Chicago/Video Data Bank; Community TV Network; PBS 
Midwest; Rock Valley Coll.; Roxie Media Corporation; KY: Appalshop; MA: CCTV; Documentary Educational 
Resources; Long Bow Group Inc.; Lowell Telecommunications Corp.; LTC Communications; Projectile Arts; 
MD: Laurel Cable Network; MN: Intermedia Arts; Walker Arts Center; IFP North; MO: Webster University Film 
Series; NC: Cucaloris Film Foundation; Doubletake Documentary Film Fest.; Duke University-Film and 
Video; NE: Great Plains Film Festival; Nebraska Independent Film Proj., Inc.; Ross Film Theater, 
UN/Lincoln; NJ: Black Maria Film Festival; College of NJ/ Dept. of Communication Studies; reat Vision 
Filmwork, Inc.; NM: Taos Talking Pictures; NY: American Museum of Natural History; Art 21; Cinema Arts 
Center; Communications Society; Cornell Cinema; Council for Positive Images, Inc.; Creative Capital 
Foundation; Dependable Delivery; Donnell Media Center; Downtown Community TV; Film Forum; Film 
Society of Lincoln Center; John Jay High School; Konscious, Inc.; Listen Up!; Manhattan Neighborhood 
Network; National Black Programming Consortium; National Foundation for Jewish Culture; National 
Video Resources; NW&D Inc.; NYU TV Center; OVO, Inc.; School of Visual Arts; Squeaky Wheel; Standby 
Program; Stanton Crenshaw Communication; Stony Brook Film Festival; Thirteen/WNET; Upstate Films, 
Ltd.; Women Make Movies; OH: Cleveland Filmmakers; Greater Cincinnati & Northern Kentucky Film 
Commission; Media Bridges Cincinnati; Ohio Independent Film Fest; Ohio University/Film; OR: Media Arts, 
MHCC; PA: PA Council on the Arts; Carnegie Museum of Art; Prince Music Theater; Scribe Video Center; 
Temple University; University of the Arts; WYBE Public TV 35; Rl: Flickers Arts Collaborative; SC: South 
Carolina Arts Commission; Hybrid Films TN: Nashville Independent Film Fest; TX: Austin Cinemaker Co-op; 
Austin Film Society; Michener Center for Writers; Southwest Alternate Media Project; WA: Seattle Central 
Community College; Wl: UWM Dept. of Film; Wisconsin Film Office; Canada: Toronto Documentary 
Forum/Hot Does; France: The Camargo Foundation; Germany: International Shorts Film Festival; India: 
Foundation for Universal Responsibility; Peru: Guarango Cine y Video; Singapore: Ngee Ann Polytechnic 
Library 

Friends of FIVF: Ullses Arlstldes, Bakus International, Michael Bernstein, Barbara Baxter- 
Brooks, Hugo M.J. Cassirer, Chris Deaux, Arthur Dong, Aaron Edison, Christopher Farina, Suzanne Griffin, 
Christopher Gomersall, Patricia Goudvis, Leigh Hanlon, Robert L. Hawk, Henrietta Productions, Jewish 
Communal Fund, John Kavanaugh, Laura Kim, Bart Lawson, Michelle Lebrun, Elizabeth Mane, Diane 
Markrow, Sheila Nevins, William Payden, PKXH, Possible Films, Robert L Seigel, Esq., Mary Smith, 
Diana Takata, Rhonda Leigh Tanzman, Mark Vanbork 




With the mediamakingf 

landscape morphiig 

almost daily, 

AIVF keeps you 

on top of new 

developments, 

opportunities, 

initiatives, 

people, 

and advocacy 

in the field... 





Through 

The Independent, 
keep up to date w| 
new product reviews, 
distributors and 
funders, and profiQ 
of makers who 
understand what 
being independent 
is all about... 

m mmMivmeoitomHBf 





With our low-cost 
membership 
giving you 
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discounts, access 
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WELL as our 
resources, can you 
afford not to join? 

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YOU SHOW US THE TALENT AND 

WE'LL SHOWYOU THE MONEY 

wina$30|000grant 




filmmaker 

showcase 

Enter your film for a chance to win a $30,000 grant 
in eitJier the Black or Latino Filmmaker Showcase and 
you just might see your movie premiere exclusively 



on SHOWTIME. 



#wniviE 



NO LIMITS 



LATINO 

FILMMAKER 

SHOWCASE 



To get an entry form, either visit our website at #.com 
or send your name, age, address and phone number to: 



Showtime's Black Filmmaker Showcase 

Att: Selby Segall 

or 

Showtime's Latino Filmmaker Showcase 

Att: Lorie Hope 

Showtime Networks Inc. 

10880 Wilshire Blvd., 

Suite 1600 Los Angeles, CA 90024 




U^ ■""'" ©2002 Showtime Networks Inc. All rights reserved, SHOWTIME is a registered trademark of Showtime Networks Inc.. a Viacom Company. NO LIMITS is a registered trademark of Artime S.p.A. 
Showtime Networks Inc. is an authorized licensee. Open to filmmakers 18 years of age and older and legal U.S. residents, except employees and family members of employees of SNI, Viacom Inc. or their affil- 
iates, parents, subsidiaries or their promotional, public relations or advertising agencies. All federal, state and local laws and regulations apply This contest is void where prohibited or restricted by law. To be 
considered for the 2003 Black Filmmaker Showcase, submissions must be received by July 31 , 2002. Submissions for the Black Filmmaker Showcase received after July 31 , 2002 may be considered, at SNI's 
sole discretion and provided that all appropriate release forms are executed, for additional Showcase.To be considered for the 2002 Latino Filmmaker Showcase, submissions must be received by May 15, 2002. 
Submissions for the Latino Filmmaker Showcase received after May 1 5, 2002 may be considered, at SNI's sole discretion and provided that all appropriate release forms are executed, for additional Showcases. 



mefnik^^^^f^ 



Publisher/Acting Editor: Elizabeth Peters 

leditor@aivf,orgl 

Managing Editor: Cleo Cacoulidis 

lcleo@aivf org! 

Associate Editor: Ken IVliller 

lken@aivf.orgl 

Editorial Assistant: James Israel 

ljaines@aivf.orgl 

Intern: Jason Guerrasio 

lintern@aivf.orgl 

Contributing Editors: Richard Baimbridge, 

Robert Goodman, Bo Mehrad, Cara Mertes, 

Robert L. Seigei, Esq., Patricia Thomson 

Designer: John Carr 

|jolin@konscious.conil 

Advertising Director: Laura D. Davis 

(212) 807-1400 X 225; ldisplayads@aivf.orgl 

Classified Advertising: James Israel 

(212) 80?-1400x. 241: lclassifieds@aivf.orgl 



National Distribution: 
Ingram Periodicals (800) 627-6247 



POSTMASTER: Send address ctianges tO: 
The Independent Film & Video Monthly. 304 Hudson St., 6 fL, New York, NY 10013 

The Independent Film & Video Monthly (ISSN 0731-5198) is published monthly 
(except combined issues January/February and July/August) by the Foundation for 
Independent Video and Film (FIVO, a 501(c)(3) dedicated to the advancement of media 
■arts and artists. Subscription to the magazine is included in annual membership dues 
($55/yr individual; $35/yr student, $1 00/yr nonprofil/school; $150/yr business/industry) 
paid to the Association of Independent Video and Filmmakers (AIVF), the national profes- 
sional association of individuals involved in independent film and video. Library 
subscriptions are $75/yr Contact: AIVF 304 Hudson St., 6 fl.. New York, NY 10013, 
(212) 807-1400; fax: (212) 463-8519; info@aivf.org. 

Periodical Postage paid at New York, New York and at additional mailing offices. 
Printed in the USA by Cadmus Journal Services. 



^ 



Publication of The Independent is made possible in part with public 
funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency and 
the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency 



Publication of any ad in The Independent does not constitute an endorsement. 
AIVF/FIVF are not responsible for any claims made in an ad. All contents are copyright of 
the Foundation for Independent Video and Film, Inc. Reprints require written permission 
and acknowledgement of the article's previous appearance in The Independent 
The Independent is indexed in the Alternative Press Index and is a member of the 
Independent Press Association. 

AIVF/FIVF staff: Elizabeth Peters, executive director; Alexander Spencer, deputy director; 
Michelle Coe, program director; Priscilla Grim, membership coordinator; James Israel, 
Bo Mehrad, information services associates; Greg Gilpatrick, Joshua Sanchez, web 
consultants; Bengt Anderson, Sue Freel, Avril Speaks, interns; AIVFMVF legal counsel: 
Robert I. Freedman, Esq. Cowan, DeBaets, Abrahams X Sheppard. 

AIVF/FIVF Boards of Directors: Angela Alston, Doug Block, Liz Canner Paul Espinosa, 
Vivian Kleiman, Jim McKay, Elizabeth Peters (ex officio), Alex Rivera*, James Schamus*, 
Gail Silva*, Valerie Soe, Ellen Spiro, Rahdi Taylor, Jim Vincent, Jane Wagner*, Bart Weiss, 
Debra Zimmerman*. *FIVf Board of Directors only. 

© Foundation for Independent Video & Film, Inc. 2002 
Visit The Independent online at: www.aivf.org 



May 2002 ^ 
VOLUME 25, N 
www.aivf.org 




32 Common Concerns of 
Uncommon Voices 

Is PBS li\'ing up to its pledge to improve 
relations with indies.' 

BY Jana Germ a no 

36 Independent Spirit 

Four broadcast directors describe 
working with independents to bring 
diverse \'oices to stations. 

38 Indie Pipeline 

Coming soon to PTV and beyond. 
BY Jason Guerrasio 

39 A Bunch of Fine Fellows 

The PBS Producers Academy in action. 
BY Kyle Henry 

41 Get Hooked on PBS 
Interactive 

What's up at the number one dot org 
in the world. 

BY Elizabeth Peters 

42 Sweet Fifteen 

PO.V. celebrates its anniversary with 
a full dance card. 

BY James Israel 



^^Hlr , / ,v 1 




2 THE INDEPENDENT May 2002 



Upfront 



5 Editor's Note 
7 News 

Tribeca Film Fest; briefs. 
BY Elizabeth Peters 

11 Opinion 

Save bandwidth for 
community media. 

BY BUNNIE RiEDEL 

13 Profiles 

Thomas Allen Harris seeks his 
roots; James Fortier reveals a 
different truth. 

BY Pat Aufderheide; 
Cleo Cacoulidis 

17 Field Report: 
San Diego 

Documenting Manny Father; 
Asian Film Festival thrives; 
local resources. 

BY Neil Kendricks 

19 Distributor FAQ 

THINKFilm fills an independent 
distribution void in New York. 

BY Jason Guerrasio 

23 Books 

Hand-Held Visions: The 
Impossible Possibilities of 
Community Media; Gus Van 
Sant: An Unauthorized 
Biography. 

BY Patricia R. 

ZiMMERMANN; 

Bo Mehrad 

25 Festival Circuit 

African American Women's 
Fest; Realscreen Summit; 
Havana International Fest. 

BY Aaron Krach; 

JANA GeRMANO; 

Neil Kendricks 




Departments 

44 Legal 

Development deals for 
indie docs. 

BY Robert L.Seigel, Esq. 

47 Wired Blue Yonder 

Combustion 2 bundles serious 
tools for animators. 

BY Greg Gilpatrick 

49 Festivals 
55 Notices 
58 Classifieds 



@fllVF 

60 Events 

63 Salons 

64 On View 

Work to watch for. 

BY Jason Guerrasio 



Cover: Mai's America 

A spunky teenager finds long-held 
ideas about freedom, Vietnam, and 
herself challenged when an exchange 
program brings her from cosmopolitan 
Hanoi to rural Mississippi in Mario 
Poras'slTVS production. A /'O.K 
premiere, August 6 on PBS. 



PHOTO; MARLO PORAS 



May 2002 THE INDEPENDENT 3 



The 24th Annual 



IFP MARKET 

September 27- October 4, 2002, New York City 

Experience the Difference. 

The 24th Annual IFP Market will be the first of its kind. 

Selective. Invitational. Exclusively focused on works-in-development and 
emerging talent. Four distinct sections, all under one banner: 



No Borders International 
Co-Production Market 

(September 27 - October 1) 

In its eighth year of presenting nar- 
rative and documentary projects in 
development by producers w'tVn 
a track record. Projects must have 
partial financing in place. 

Deadline: May 17 





Spotlight on 
Documentaries 

(September 29 - October 4) 

Capitalizing on a 24-year legacy of 
presenting the best new features, 
shorts and works-in-progress. 

Deadlines: 

tVlay 10/ear1y; June 7/late 



Emerging Narrative 

(September 29 - October 4) 

A new competitive selection of fictic 
projects, exclusively showcasing 
scripts, shorts, and works-in- 
progress. 

Deadlines: 

May 10/eariy; June 7/late 






Film Conference 
&Expo 

(September 30 - October 4) 

Five days. Thousands of professionals 
all under one roof. The state of the 
union on the business of film - straight 
from the media capital of the worid. 

Fee.' Free to Market participants. 
Separate fees for others described at 
ifp.org. 




Acceptance Criteria 

Acceptance into all sections of the IFP Market is 
limited and will be based on artistic merit, 
strength of the project, and specific section crite- 
ria where applicable. See ifp.org for guidelines. 





is; 

NEW YORK 



The only way to 
apply is on-line. 
Visit ifp.org 




Q 



Dear Readers, 

"The fundamental goal of PBS has always 
been to inform, to enlighten, to educate, 
and to provide an uplifting voice for all 
Americans," says PBS CEO Pat Mitchell in 
her introduction to the PBS 2001 Annual 
Report, going on to make note of the contri- 
butions of "the world's best independents." 

Each spring, The Independent casts a spot- 
light on the symbiotic relationship between 
independent producers and public televi- 
sion. What better way to fulfill the PBS 
mandate than to feature the work of 
artists who have eschewed commercial 
interests in order to better make work 
that informs, inspires, and deUghts? And 
what better venue for challenging work 
that reflects the full diversity of our 
national discourse than PBS, reaching 
nearly 100 million Americans each week? 

In this issue, Jana Germano reviews 
changes at PBS under Mitchell's tenure, 
highlighting improvements and drawing 
attention to areas of continued concern 
for independents. The practical advice in 
her article is complemented by wise words 
of counsel from four program directors 
who make it a point to work with local 
independent producers in order to bring 
unique stories to their stations. 

Our cover story on PO.V.'s fifteenth 
anniversary provides a look back at a body 
of remarkable independent work and a 
look forward toward expanded program- 
ming and reach. Plus, we profile opportu- 
nities for independents within the PBS 
Producers' Academy and PBS Interactive, 
provide a sampling of independent pro- 
grams that will extend beyond public tele- 
vision in the coming year, and offer a direc- 
tory of online resources for independents 
working in public television. 

We also move beyond the world of PBS 
to review former AIVF Board President 
Dee Dee Halleck's recently published 
anthology Hand Held Visions, which pro- 
vides an extensive and impassioned 
overview of the last fifty years of public 
media. And Alliance for Community 
Media director Bunnie Reidel makes a 
case for preserving bandwidth for the 
nation's community media centers. 

Next month we'll take a look at "Media 
that Matters," with features that spotlight 
avenues for social issue and activist 
media. What could be more public than 
that? See you then! 

— Elizabeth Peters, publisher /acting editor 




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May 2002 THE INDEPENDENT 5 




15^" ANNIVERSARY 

Television's First and Longest-Running Showcase for Independent Non-Fiction Film 



Watch P.O.V. on PBS starting June 25, Tuesdays at 10 p.m. (check local listings) Visit www.pbs.org/pov 

For Worse Gates of Heaven Gthe smith family rasha o/dham ^oing Up Golden Threr 
Golub The Good Fight The GnBoomo^NU Bryan ounnarcoie )althy Baby 
Darkness Th " ' ' ' " hybrid /wonfe/f/j McCo//um ofam . 

U h 'rl If I r REFRIGERATOR MOTHERS* David E. Simpson, J.J. Hanley and Gordon Quinn ^ 

Hybna It I La, ,.,_.... , , fenCELINE' Slawomir GriJnberg with Jane Greenberg - - ' '^nor;' / 

Stranger Jesse's Gone sweet old song* Leah Mahan ^ Reason Kam- 

Rail Kelly Loves Tony Ki mai-s America* Mar/o Poras r. Homes Apart KPFAOn' 

.., /. , ;.,. ,,m mER\CMG\RlS (Encore) Aaron Matthews ^ ,, 

Air LaBoda Larry Wright / senorita extraviada* Lourdes Port///o as/Zm? 

The Lega' ' ESCUELA Hannah VJeyer 

Debt Li( AFGHANISTAN, YEAR 1380 Fabrizio Lazzaretti, Alberto Vendemmiati and Giuseppe Pettito 
TWO TOWNS OF JASPER* Whitney Dow and Marco Williams 



with AIDS BROTHER OUTSIDER: THE LIFE OF BAYARD RUSTIN* Nancy Kates and Bennett Singer 

Marc and Ann Maria'.' 

Metam orphosis: Man l *A co-presentation with the Independent Television Service [i]tVS 

Man Moi ^ 

Like Hon-^'^'^' Celebrates 15 Years Presenting Independent Film to National Audiences 

Tibetan K' 

Viliia 

Plena 

Regre, 

Roge! 

Sea c 

Famii 

Tobacco i 

Through i 

True-Hea 

Twitch an 

Uprising 

Not a He 

Chin'^ 

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li>V sjui-.-> ' / ■ 




Tribeca celebrates Tribeca 

Film Fest aims to "reenergize" lower Manhattan 



American Express employees who lost 
their offices on September 1 1 will return 
to lower Manhattan in May, just in time 
to partake in the Tribeca Film Festival, a 
community celebration of "the spirit of 
New York City and the international 
independent film community at home and 
abroad," according to festival literature. 

The brainchild of Tribeca Entertainment 
founders Robert DeNiro and Jane 
Rosenthal, the festival will run from May 
8-13, opening with a gala presentation of 
Tribeca Production's About A Boy. The 
festival will continue with a variety of pro- 
grams geared towards the general public, 
including outdoor screenings, concerts, 
panels, and films, presented at a variety of 
downtown venues. 

The festival has received major multi- 
year support from American Express and 
an enthusiastic reception from public offi- 
cials, who hope the event will stimulate 
tourism and help revitalize the lower 
Manhattan economy. 

62 films were selected for the 
Independent Film Competition, and will 
be eligible for juried awards in the cate- 
gories of short, feature, documentary, and 
emerging filmmaker. 

The festival will also include a curated 



International Film Showcase, a Restored 
Classic Series, selections from Tribeca 
Film's First Look Series, a Best of New 
York Film series curated by Martin 
Scorecese, and a selection of films that 
commemorate the events of September 
1 1th. A Family Program on May 1 1th and 
12th will feature a carnival, picnics, film 
screenings, and other programs, and the 
festival hopes to attract 10,000 partici- 
pants to an outdoor Rock and Comedy 
concert on May 10th. 

"Coming at this moment and for this 
reason, this year the festival is necessarily 
focusing on upbeat programming for a 
broad audience," says Magnolia Pictures' 
Eammon Bowles, who curated the 
International Showcase. "Still, it provided 
the opportunity to bring some outstanding 
independent work to larger audiences." 

"Personally, this is an important festival 
for all of us," says Allen Bain of The 7th 
Floor, who produced Eric Eason's debut 
film Manito which was selected for compe- 
tition. "This is a New York film, made by 
New Yorkers about the things our commu- 
nity faces every day. It's going to be great 
to screen in our home town." 

For more info, call (866) 941 -FEST or 
visit www.tribecafilmfestival.org. 



Change of media officers 
at hflacArtiiur Foundation 

Woodward Wickham, Vice President of 
the General Program of the John D. and 
Catharine T MacArthur Foundation, 
announced his retirement from the 
Foundation in April. The decision fol- 
lowed a six-month sabbatical, during 
which Wickham had the opportunity to 
pursue his interest in interactive digital 
documentaries. 

"This is a personal interest, not a prior- 
ity of the MacArthur Foundation," says 
Wickham. "But it seems an appropriate 
area for those interested in furthering 
public interest documentary work." 

Wickham championed media funding 
through a landscape that changed signifi- 
cantly over his 12 years at MacArthur. 
"The biggest change is the emergence of 
commercial sources of funding, particular- 
ly HBO. And now more foundations fund 
film and video than did 1 2 years ago. Back 
then, large foundations such as Kellogg, 
Casey, and others just didn't fund docu- 
mentary work." Wickham points out, 
however, that funding from these sources 
is not open-ended: cable stations will have 
ideas about effective positions, and public 
funders provide support to work that can 
serve as an instrument of public education 
about issues within their areas of concern. 
Particularly with cuts to the NEA, 
Wickham surmises that even with these 
new sources there is no more funding 
than there was 12 years ago for indepen- 
dent documentary work "chosen purely 
for its excellence." 

In 2001, MacArthur renewed its com- 
mitment to providing 5-6 million dollars of 
annual funding for media, but refocused 
priorities of the program, including discon- 
tinuing grants to fund media arts centers. 
Funds are now allocated primarily to inde- 
pendent documentary production, with a 
portion earmarked for project outreach and 
distribution (including substantial funding 
for PO.V), as well as limited funding for 
organizations that support the field of doc- 
umentary production, including AIVF and 
NAMAC. MacArthur also funds public 
interest radio, including NPR and PRI. 

Future MacArthur media funding will 
be overseen by Director of the General 
Program, Elspeth Revere. For more info, 
see www.macfound.org. 



May 2002 THE INDEPENDENT 7 



Essential Resources for 
Independent Video and Filmmakers 




I 



AlVF's top selling reference: All New Edition! 

The AIYF Guide to 

International Film and Video Festivals 

edited by Michelle Coe $35 / $25 AIVF members plus shipping and handling. 

Up-to-date profiles of over 900 Film & Video Festivals, with complete contact and deadline information. 
First published in 1982, AlVF's Festival Guide is the most established and trusted source of information 
and inside views of film and video festivals around the world. Supplemented by selected reprints from 
The Independent's Festival Circuit column, profiling over 40 festivals in-depth from the filmmaker's 
perspective. The Guide is published to order, ensuring the most current information available! For AIVF 
members, the Festival Guide is enhanced by monthly listings in The Independent magazine, and an 
online interactive festival directory that is continually updated! 



New! An interactive guide to grassroots distribution! 

The AIYF & MediaRights.org 
Independent Producers' Outreach Toolkit 

edited by MediaRights.org $125 / $115 AIVF members 

Show funders how your film will have an impact! Your documentary can move audiences to take action 
for social change. What's your plan? Use this interactive resource to design, implement, and evaluate an 
effective outreach campaign. The Outreach Toolkit also downloads to your PDA and includes interactive 
worksheets; budgeting tools; a print resource binder; individualized consultation with outreach experts; 
case studies including funded proposals; an online producers' forum; and much more! 

OTHER GUIDES TO GETTING YOUR WORK OUT TO AUDIENCES: 

THE AIVF GUIDE TO FILM & VIDEO EXHIBITORS 

edited by Kathryn Bowser $35/ $25 AIVF members £ 1999 

THE AIVF SELF-DISTRIBUTION TOOLKIT 

edited by loannis Mookas $30 / $20 AIVF members ©1999 

Buy Both Self-Distribution Books and Save! $60 / $40 AIVF members 

THE NEXT STEP: DISTRIBUTING INDEPENDENT FILMS AND VIDEOS 

edited by Morrie Warshawski $24.95 ©1995 



"^"'"'GHTS ORG 



^^^tPENDENTP^oo^^ 





NeT 

OSIWUHNG NJErtWW 
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by fax: (212) 463-8519; or make checks payable to FIVF and mail to 

FIVF, 304 Hudson Street, 6th floor, New York, NY 10013 



QUAN. PRICE 



The AIVF Guide to International Film and Video Festivals 

Michelle Coe, ed.; ©2001; $35 / $25 members 



® The MediaRights.org & AIVF Independent Producers' Outreach Toolkit 

($125 / $1 15 members) to order log on to www.mediarights.org/toolkit 

The AIVF Film and Video Exhibitors Guide $35 / $25 



The AIVF Film and Video Self-Distribution Toolkit $30 / $20 



'both Self Distribution titles $60/ $40 members 



The Next Step $24.95 



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Note that UPS will not deliver to PO boxes. If you live in Manhattan, you may prefer to come by our Filmmaker Resource Library for instant gratification! 




IFP Refines Market 

Opening September 27th with the 
Gotham Awards ceremony at Chelsea 
Piers, this year's IFP Market will be 
significantly reworked from previous 
installments. While IFP's No Borders 
International Co-Production market and 
the Spotlight on Documentaries will be 
essentially unchanged, the Emerging 
Narrative section will now showcase 62% 
fewer projects. In addition, screenings of 
completed narrative features have been 
discontinued entirely. 

Overall, the number of projects at the 
market will be trimmed to a maximum of 
220. "By refocusing, we will be able to pro- 
vide a more effective level of support to 
Market participants," says incoming 
Market Director Patricia Finneran. 

These changes are the result of five years 
of focus groups and re-evaluation, led by 
IFP executive director Michelle Byrd and 
deputy director Ellen Cotler. With $50,000 
in cash and service awards available, and 
an increased focus on scripts and works-in- 
progress, Byrd hopes the new format will 
shift attention away from "finished films 
which are already on their way to the festi- 
val circuit" and toward filmmakers seeking 
production and finishing funds. The IFP 
has also added a "Buzz Cuts" program, with 
sponsorship from the Sundance Channel, 
to provide a new venue for short films. See 
www.ifp.org. 

Kodak Issues Warning on 
Airport Security X-rays 

In a warning to filmmakers dealing with 
the recently instated airport security mea- 
sures, Kodak has issued a notice that the 
stronger X-rays emitted by powerful secu- 
rity machines such as the CTX 5500 will 
"fog and ruin all unprocessed film of any 
speed whether exposed or not." While it 
has always been considered advisable to 
protect film from exposure to X-rays, it had 



previously been thought that faster films 
were at a relatively low risk of fogging. 

Anyone attempting to bring film onto 
an airplane should explain their situation 
to airport security personnel and politely 
request a hand inspection. "Do Not X- 
ray" labels are also downloadable from 
www.kodak.com/go/xraylabel. While this 
should eliminate many difficulties, hand 
inspections may not be an option at some 
overseas airports. 



Errata 



In the "Settling the Score" article in the 
March 2002 issue of The Independent, 
Sarah George's documentary about con- 
temporary trainhoppers was misidentified 
on page 33. George's film is Catching Out. 
Riding the Rails is a documentary about 
depression- era hobos made by Lexy Lovell 
and Michael Uys and released in 1997. 

In the same article. Independent staff blew 
our indie music scene credibility by mis- 
spelling Stephin Merritt's name in his photo 
caption. Please give us points for spelling 
it correctly in the body of the article. 

On page 27 of the April 2002 issue, the 
first "Diary of a Producer in Utah" photo 
caption is incorrect. The photo does not 
include Peter Baxter, but rather (left to 
right): Gabe Wardell, Mark Moskowitz, 
Heidi Van Leir, Penelope Spheeris, Debra 
Eisenstadt, and Drea Clark. 

And finally, after a full day of churning 
out graphics for television, a caffeine - 
addled Greg Gilpatrick apparently suc- 
cumbed to overly optimistic dreams about 
the state of editing technology in his April 
review of Final Cut Pro 3. While we all 
would like full resolution DV video to fit 
40 minutes per Gigabyte of hard drive 
space as he stated on page 46, the truth is 
that each Gigabyte currently holds about 
five minutes' worth. Gilpatrick regrets the 
error and pledges to drink no more than 
three cans of jolt Cola before writing his 
next article. 



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Discounts for AiVF Members 





May 2002 THE INDEPENDENT 9 



Can we make 

a case for 
fluorescents? 




Ipw^'P 



We did. 



Lowel introduces Caselite^", the most compact, easy- 
to-carry fluorescent kit in the industry. Completely 
self-contained, the case literally opens to become the 
light. In two or four lamp versions, it uses daylight or 
tungsten 55 watt lamps, has an internal ballast, and 
room inside the lid for both stand and accessories. 
Lowel makes the case for traveling light. 

It's the details that make a light a Lowel. 




800-334-3426 www.lowel.com 



Save Bandwidth for PEG 

Community media preserves democratic discourse 

BY BUNNIE RiEDEL 



C 



x-'is^'j'-ij'-!;- 



D 



Over the past four years as I have served 
as executive director of the Alliance for 
Community Media, the pace of media 
merger and consolidation has been stun- 
ning. The news of the Comcast bid to buy 
AT&T cable is just one example of how 
the industry has changed. The bid cer- 
tainly speaks to the success of Comcast as 
a company (and for that they should be 
congratulated) but it once again raises 
fundamental issues. Even media mogul 
Ted Turner recently bemoaned the fact 
that we are soon going to have only two or 
three cable operators in this country. 

We are all asking ourselves how this 
consolidation will affect our communities. 
Will we see standardized, one -size -fits all, 
franchise agreements? Will the power of 
these mega- companies threaten the exis- 
tence of community media centers? How 
will the public interest be served by sin- 
gle-source communications? Will democ- 
ratic discourse be limited? 

As media consolidation has grown I 
have witnessed the growth of the impor- 
tance of community media. More and 
more municipalities are opening Public, 
Educational, and Government (PEG) 
access facilities. More and more munici- 
palities are going to the mat to make sure 
that the voice of the community and the 
important information provided by com- 
munity media is heard and seen. 

Added to what PEG does by "provid- 
ing" information is the growing capability 
PEG facilities have for "facilitating" multi- 
path communication. With the advent of 
broadband comes new, exciting possibili- 
ties for every part of our work. One area I 
am most excited about is how broadband 
will expand educational opportunities. 
Broadband will allow students at all levels 
to have real-time video, voice, and data 
interaction with instructors and other stu- 
dents. These will be virtual classrooms 
that provide a real classroom environ- 
ment. Educational access practitioners 
across the country have been using this 
kind of technology for some time, but 



broadband will guarantee 
that this becomes wide- 
spread and common. 

We have barely scratched 
the surface on what we will 
be able to accomplish in 
the public interest through 
the application of new 
technologies. The greatest 
threat we face is whether 
or not we will have the 
capacity set-aside that we 
will need. For instance, when the state of 
Vermont required cable operators to pro- 



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munity with as much cost- efficiency as 
PEG access does. Imagine being a cable 
operator and finding yourself in the posi- 
tion of having to deliver government, 
educational, and public programming. 
Just visualizing having to staff such an 
endeavor sets my head spinning. 

We bring a lot to the 
table, in terms of capability, 
existing infirastructure and 
expertise. Ultimately we 
save cable operators tremen- 
dous amounts of time, ener- 
gy and money and that can 
only be good for the bottom 
line. And we provide the 
bridge between the operator 
and the community that is 
so important. We facilitate 
their ability to communicate 
and to reach diverse audiences and we cre- 
ate good will among their customers. 



We have barely scratched the surface on what 

we will he able to accomplish in the public interest 

through the application of new technologies. 

The greatest threat we face is whether or not 

we will have the capacity set-aside that we will need. 



vide up to 10 percent of broadband capac- 
ity, they secured a future for the growth of 
public interest applications. We as resi- 
dents of communities need to make sure 
that every franchise agreement includes 
at least 10 percent of the bandwidth 
capacity for PEG. Whether we can 
accomplish this through local negotia- 
tions or we need federal relief remains to 
be seen. But we have to make sure that we 
aren't relegated to a "digital Siberia" (as 
Vermont stated it) and we aren't identi- 
fied as strictly a video environment 
(which is what the Tauzin-Dingell legisla- 
tion will do) . 

Much of this is going to require our 
being "heard" by the cable industry and 
these large media corporations. We need 
to demonstrate that providing our com- 
munities with capacity will create a win- 
win situation for all of us, including the 
cable operators. There is no way cable 
operators can meet the needs of a com- 



While much has changed in the last 
few years, there is a consistent need for 
community media centers to build a 
healthy partnership with the cable indus- 
try, especially as the number of companies 
continues to diminish. 

Communities will demand more 
accountability from these large concerns 
and we will stand as a shining example of 
what can be accomplished when compa- 
nies practice good corporate citizenship. 

PEG access is leading the way in devel- 
oping new and exciting uses for emerging 
technologies. We will continue to inno- 
vate, create, and educate as long as we 
have the foresight to make sure that we 
reserve the bandwidth we will need. 

Bunnie Riedel is executive director of the Alliance 
for Community Media, uiwui.alliancecm.com, a 
national membership organization that represents 
over 1,000 PEG access organizations and com- 
munity media centers and works to assure public 
access to electronic media. 



May 2002 THE INDEPENDENT 11 



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Give it the showcase it deserves. 

Every week, more than 90 million* Americans 
tune in to PBS programs. And your documentary 
■^( film can be among them. On PBS, you'll have the 

freedom to tell your story the way you intended 
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Thomas Allen Harris has had an 
impressive run of recognition for his dar- 
ingly formalist, personal documentary 
Thxit's M31 Face — it has played to high 
acclaim at major festivals, including 
Toronto and Sundance — but nothing 
with quite the personal satisfaction of the 
Berlin International Film Festival. 




Thomas Allen Harris 



aurally and visually, it overwhelms the 
viewer's rational defenses and offers an 
interior experience that might (but need- 
n't) be parallel to the filmmaker's journey. 
Harris narrates the film, with phrases by 
both actors and the actual characters of 
the film overlapping and interwoven 
along with ambient sounds, rhythms and 
music. The sound- 
track becomes a 
complex and multi- 
dimensional poem. 

The visual experi- 
ence is conditioned 
by Harris's use of 
Super-8, which 
matches his grandfa- 
ther's home movies 
taken in the 1960s. It 
also explores the 
metaphor of double- 
ness, of vision and 
experience. Harris 
sees only colors and 
shapes out of one 



BY Pat Aufderheide 



That's M}i Face expresses Harris's quest 
to integrate the fractured experiences and 
beliefs of an artist obsessed with doubleness 
in his life. He experiences that doubleness 
as an African American in a racist society, 
as an American who had lived in Africa, 
and as the grandson of a Christian preach- 
er who turns to orixas, the deities of the 
syncretic, Afro -Brazilian religion. He even- 
tually discovers not wholeness but multi- 
plicity, and finally understands that multi- 
ple identities have defined and continue to 
define his life as an African American. 

In Berlin, his richly textured film took 
the prestigious Prize of the Churches of the 
Ecumenical Jury. He found himself on stage 
holding an envelope full of cash — 2,500 
Euros (about $2,100). The prize is awarded 
"to directors who have displayed genuine 
artistic talent and succeeded in expressing 
actions or human experiences that comply 
with the Gospels, or sensitize viewers to 
spiritual, human or social values." That 
award surely put Thomas Harris's mind at 
ease. He had, after all, begun the film fear- 
ful that he was violating his grandparents' 
deepest religious convictions. 

That's My Face plunges the viewer into 
an intense experience from the very first 
moments. Extravagantly layered both 



eye, a lifelong condi- 
tion. This clinical 
reality is amplified by 
his lifelong experience of double cultural 
vision, which the film represents with 
superimposition, floating images, unfo- 
cused shots, juxtaposition of past and pre- 
sent, and the gentle fuzziness of Super-8. 
The metaphor is amplified with repeated 
imagery of masks. The dense editing of 
both sound and images creates an experi- 
ence something like a dream, something 
like a poem, something like a trance. 
While the film features many kinds of 




doubling, it never directly references sex- 
ual orientation - a significant omission in 
an openly gay filmmaker. To Harris, that 
element is implicit and pervasive. "A 
queer reading of the film is to ask what 
kinds of things do you have to closet," he 
told The Independent. "My sexual orienta- 
tion was just the beginning of the onion. 
That I lived in Tanzania, that I grew up 
with an African stepfather, while notions 
of blackness are very essentialized in 
America made me hide who I was, that I 
lived with a mother who didn't observe 
the religion of her parents. So much of 
what this film is about is the power of our 
imagination in constructing our identity." 

The film, which can be categorized as a 
documentary, defies neat categories. "In 
Berlin, people kept saying, 'It's an essay,' 
but if it is, it's a call-and-response essay," 
said Harris. "Partly this film is a reaction 
to my professional training at WNET-13, 
where you work with veracity, you shoot 
talking heads, you tell people what they'll 
see, you show 'em, and then you tell 'em 
what they've seen." 

Conventional or no, his producer posi- 
tion at WNET from 1987-91 gave Harris 
an essential skills and networking base. 
After a college travel grant to Europe 
derailed him from his premed track at 
Harvard and turned him toward art, 




May 2002 THE INDEPENDENT 13 



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